The worst kind of monkey business…

The worst kind of monkey business…

If you give a monkey a banana… a thousand monkeys will descend upon you and try to kill your friends. This is the lesson we learned very recently as we drove through India. A lesson hard bought.

We had been traveling around Rajasthan for the past five days with our new friends, Imran and Ali.  We had hit Jaipur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, and Jodhpur.  Hours in the car were spent dancing to Indian hip hop and trying to spot as many animals as possible.  At that point we had already spotted numerous dogs, cats, boars, peacocks, horses, donkeys, elephants, camels, snakes, and red monkeys.  It was a first class menagerie. Similar to that scene in Aladdin when he rolls into town with the Genie.

It was on the winding and bumpy road to Udaipur, the “Venice of the east”, that we encountered our first black monkey.  What the real name is for these monkeys, we don’t know. All we were told is, “this is a very dangerous road.  At night, people come out from the jungle to steal and kidnap people, especially you people.  Also, there are many black monkeys”, Imran casually explained with a thumbs up. Sweet.  Truth be told, we weren’t too worried about the monkeys, we were more worried about having our organs harvested in the night.  How foolish we were.  We didn’t know where the real danger was.

That’s when we spotted him, a lone black monkey idly sitting on the side of the road.  He was cute, really cute.  There wasn’t anything scary about him.  Ali slowly pulled the car up beside him so that we could snap a few photos.

monkey photos India
It all started out so innocently…

Mr. Monkey posed for a couple of pictures while Imran fished out the two bananas that we had left over from our roadside feast the day before.  He handed the monkey one banana, which he politely took, and then the other.  I was just about to remark how sweet he was when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye.  Before I knew it, dozens of monkeys were emerging from the trees around us.  These monkeys were not so sweet.

The hoard of monkeys began to chase down our car, attempting to jump into the windows.  Where there was once only one monkey, a hundred now stood.  There were screeches and yelps as each monkey fought to make it to our car.  Baby monkeys were tightly clinging to their mothers as they raced to catch up to the car.  Ali was attempting to maneuver through the tide of monkeys, hoping that we all, monkeys included, escaped unscathed.

india monkey temple
The aftermath of the monkey apocalypse.

These monkeys reminded us so much of the winged primates in the Wizard of Oz.  I’m not sure which ones were more terrifying.  The good part is that we got the entire thing on film, screams and all.

Learn from our mistake friends, in India there are two types of monkeys. One friendly, one savage.

Monkey Temple Jaipur
The docile red monkeys of India

Behold the gentle red monkey, which has evolved the talent of taking food from your hand without giving you rabies. These beauties lounge about roadside stands and populated temples.

Captain and Clark in India Tawny
What a charmer!

These monkeys are not to be confused with the feral black monkeys.


The black monkeys have long tails and lope quickly around old temple ruins. These monkeys will jump on you and take things from your hands or even out of your pockets.

Captain and Clark in India
Always on the prowl

Beware, friends, beware.

11 thoughts on “The worst kind of monkey business…

    • Author gravatar

      I want to see the video of the evil black monkeys! Complete with Wicked Witch of the West music, of course.

    • Author gravatar

      Too funny, guys! Reminds me of being warned in Zanzibar not to feed monkeys in a forest we were going through and some dumb Frenchman decided to feed the monkeys. I kept on walking and never looked back… I never heard French again that day (OK, I exaggerate that last bit!).

    • Author gravatar

      I hate monkeys. After visiting a colony of them in Thailand, I’ve been terrified of them. Though, the ones in Africa were great, as long as you kept all of your belongings in your tent of course. The red-faced monkeys look so sweet, thanks for the heads up on the vast difference!

    • Author gravatar

      I had a friend get bitten by one of these monkeys in India…they can be really nasty!

    • Author gravatar

      Monkeys aren’t my favourite animals in the world. Had some adventures in Gibraltar which shall remain there!

    • Author gravatar

      Y’all are too funny. I can’t believe you didn’t know not to feed the monkeys! However, I’m glad you didn’t because it makes for a great story for me to read.

    • Author gravatar

      I was rolling laughing when I saw this video the other day. Hilarious, as always:)

    • Author gravatar

      Monkey’s are the great energetic and adventurous and always make us laugh. but still I’m little bit scared of them. because I still remember one of my friend got slap from one full monkey that day was so funniest for us and weird moment for him. thanks for sharing such a valuable information.

    • Author gravatar

      My only experience with monkeys so far was in Africa and quite positive. But good to know about the black vs. red monkeys…

    • Author gravatar

      The red monkey might seem friendly but they’re just as bad! I never really liked monkeys but since the monkey incident I’m never going near a monkey ever again.
      I was on a monkey island (mistake number 1) when a girl opened a can of coke (mistake number 2). Within seconds there was a monkey on her arm, biting her to get the can. Instead of dropping the can, the girl was snapping pictures to put on facebook (mistake number 3). When she finally dropped the can, more monkeys had arrived and were biting her legs.

    • Author gravatar

      Ha ha, man this made me laugh out loud a couple of times. India seems like such a crazy place. I’ll definitely make sure to avoid feeding the treacherous black monkey’s when I’m there!

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