Monkeys in general are worshipped as Hanuman by devout Hindus. Now a Hanuman langur has come to the rescue of villagers harried by other monkeys in southern India.
In Khammam in the state of Andhra Pradesh, a black-faced pet langur has become the most cherished and protector of the people.
It plunges into action wherever monkeys of other species try to run amok. Swinging from one rooftop to another, it scares away hundreds of monkeys.
Hordes of monkeys descend on this bustling town, temples and schools being their favourite haunt.
Of course both worshippers and students are terrified. After all diversion or worship is only up to a point.
When you them in such large numbers, you can only run away in fright, thus affecting normal life.
Apparently the langur can be seen as most intimidating by the other simian varieties and hence the one available in Khammam is most cherished by its citizens.
The langur is the prized possession of a local body in the neighbourhood, the gram panchayat of Khanapuram Haveli.
The gram panchayat, which bought the langur some time in 2002 for Rs. 3,000, has allocated a meagre annual budget of Rs. 3,600 for its food and well-being.
And more resources are being harnessed as everybody seems to realize its utility and its services are requisitioned by one authority or another.
One doesn't seek to shoot the invading animals dead, but scares them away. This method is something akin to organic farming, wherein not pesticides but creatures that prey on pests are employed to protect crops.
The species is found largely in the Indian subcontinent and a couple of other adjoining countries like Sri Lanka and Burma.