msnbc.com news services
updated 8/2/2006 10:02:05 AM ET 2006-08-02T14:02:05

They say it takes a thief to catch a thief, but India’s Delhi Metro has hired a monkey to frighten off other monkeys from boarding trains and upsetting passengers.

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In an effort to keep monkeys out of the New Delhi subways, authorities have called in one of the few animals known to scare the creatures — a fierce-looking primate called the langur, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported Wednesday.

The decision to hire a langurwallah — a man who trains and controls the langurs — came after a monkey got into a metro car June 9, the newspaper reported.

In that incident, a monkey boarded a train at the underground Chawri Bazaar station and reportedly scared passengers by scowling at them for three stops. It then disembarked at Civil Lines station.

Passengers had to be moved to another car while staff chased the dexterous creature, causing delays.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation says it hopes the new hire will avert a repeat of that episode.

“It started working about a month ago and since then we’ve not had a single incident,” said Anuj Dayal, a metro spokesman.

The langur handler is being paid a retainer of India rupees 6,900 ($160) a month, and “he will be called whenever there is a monkey problem,” Dayal was quoted as saying.

“There are too many monkeys,” Dayal was quoted as saying.

Langur monkeys are similarly employed around the grounds of parliament and some government buildings in New Delhi.

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