NEW DELHI (AFP) – Wedding rings – check. Brass band – check. Large, aggressive monkeys – check.
Anxious brides wanting the perfect wedding day are leaving nothing to chance in the Indian city of Agra, hiring large monkeys and their handlers to keep pesky smaller ones at bay.
Grey langurs are becoming increasingly common at outdoor weddings to ward off their natural enemy rhesus monkeys which are known to gatecrash and wreak havoc, an official said Tuesday.
“The langur-handlers are much in demand during the winter wedding season,” Ram Avtaar, an official in the city’s municipal corporation, told AFP by phone.
“They usually charge up to 3,000 rupees ($48) if booked in advance but the rates can go up to Rs 10,000 ($160) in case of an emergency when monkeys have already entered a venue.”
Though revered in the majority Hindu nation, monkeys are a major menace in many cities, trashing gardens, office and residential rooftops and even viciously attacking people for food.
Agra has seen monkey numbers increase in recent years. With weddings increasingly held outdoors, many brides in Agra have already faced a simian scare, the Times of India reported.