New Delhi (AP) -- India's highest court has ordered that around 300 monkeys, roaming freely through the streets of New Delhi, be caught and transferred to forests in Central India.
The Hindu newspaper reports the Supreme Court has also ordered the federal government to pay for the rehabilitation of the monkeys.
Government buildings, temples and many residential neighborhoods in New Delhi are overrun by an army of Rhesus Macaques. They scare passers-by, occasionally biting or snatching food from unsuspecting visitors.
For years, state animal welfare agencies have tried to rid the capital of the simian menace but their efforts have been defeated, in part, by India's Hindus who believe that monkeys are manifestations of the monkey god.
Many people also feed the monkeys, encouraging the animals to frequent places where people are present in large numbers.
Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.