About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier, birder and amateur arachnologist. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a wildlife conservationist working in the tiger reserves of central India with Satpuda Foundation.

This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah) and INDog-mix mongrels are featured here. The two are NOT the same, do please read the text on the right to understand the difference. Our aim: to create awareness about the primitive natural breed called the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monkeys and dogs

This post was inspired by Facebook wall posts and emails I've seen over the years, about inter-species friendships. Several have been about dogs and monkeys.

The pictures are always accompanied by messages about peaceful co-existence, on the lines of "why can't we humans live in harmony and peace like these animals?"

Obviously such friendships do occur from time to time, but I have a feeling they must be extremely rare unless the animals are socialized to each other at an early age. The picture here shows the only monkey-dog friendship I have ever witnessed. I clicked this in a village outside Similipal Tiger Reserve in 2009. Both animals were babies and were kept in the same household, so they had become playmates. (I'm not dwelling on the legalities of keeping wild animals in captivity as that is not the subject of this blog).

My dogs, who have tolerated all other animals (except rats), have always had a near-hysterical reaction to monkeys. Langurs visiting our garden are always barked at and chased. Luckily the langurs never descend to the lower branches or to the ground. I hope they never do because they'll definitely be mauled or killed by Kimaya or Brownie, or else they'll injure the dogs in self-defense. Even Lalee, who never had much prey drive, always chased monkeys.

I've seen some village dogs in Orissa and elsewhere chase monkeys, and a friend and colleague of mine once showed me photos of two dogs from forest villages carrying langurs they had killed.

Has anyone witnessed any interactions between dogs and monkeys, and if so what were they like? I've seen lots of street dogs in Delhi and also lots of monkeys around the city, but I've never spent much time there so I haven't seen the two together. I'd love to read the observations of Delhi people.

Photo: Near Similipal Tiger Reserve


wandereress said...

The dog looking up, barking, tail wagging and alert. The monkey sitting idle on the tree, munching something or figuring a way out. This is the common sight that I have seen all these years.(It's quite funny to see the dogs when they are all charged up against their battle with the monkeys who don't care two hoots and have their own sweet time on the tree!)

Rajashree Khalap said...

I had a feeling it would be something like that :-) The langurs in our garden sometimes pause their leaf-munching to bare their teeth and make other grimaces at the furious barking dogs below :-)

I sometimes wonder whether the langurs will snatch up one of my sleeping cats, perhaps the brainless belle MiniPini who slumbers in the porch oblivious of visiting fauna. I have heard of langurs snatching up babies and puppies...but I am probably being paranoid. It's not easy to grab an adult cat without its consent.