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This is the one of the rowdiest relatives of mankind, at least in India. Remember not to take any edibles (especially fruits, sweetmeats and nuts) to temples without packing them safely in your bags. Hanuman langurs are experts at depriving you of your food. And those living near temples are particularly adept at this art. Not just temples, even the Indian Parliament is not out of bounds for them. For the past few years, the parliament has been losing a ‘few important files’, thanks to these simian creatures that react quite adversely if left unfed during the lunch hour. But when threatened, they retreat immediately. The animal is considered sacred, and every Tuesday, people offer fruits to Hanuman langurs to propitiate the monkey-god ‘Hanuman’. 

In the jungle, langurs form the most powerful ‘vigilance system’ against tigers. They have an extremely keen eyesight, and from their superior vantage point, they keep the jungle informed about each and every movement of the tiger. However, in rare cases, the langur itself can fall prey to the tiger. Langurs have an intimate social system and it is a common sight to see them combing the area in big groups. They are mainly herbivorous and their diet includes leaves, flowers, fruits, roots and even the poisonous portion of many plants normally avoided by most other animals. They are found all over the subcontinent, with a particularly large troupe residing in the Himalayas. 

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