Monkeys ‘own’ land in this Maharashtra village

At a time when land disputes are frequent, monkeys in a village in the Osmanabad district of Maharashtra have been given the rare honor of having 32 acres of land registered to their names.

The people of Osmanabad’s Upla village value their simian residents by feeding them whenever they come to their doorstep and sometimes, even honoring them at weddings.

The land record found with the Upla gram panchayat clearly mentions that the 32 acres are the names of all the monkeys that reside in the village. “While the documents clearly state that the land belongs to monkeys, it is not known who created this regulation for the animals and when it was implemented,” village chief Bappa Padwal told PTI.

In the past, monkeys were part of all the rituals conducted in the village, he said. The village is now home to nearly 100 monkeys, and their numbers have dwindled over the years as the animals don’t stay in one place for long, Padwal said.

Rangers have been planting forests on the property and there is also an abandoned house on the lot, which has now collapsed, he said. “In the past, whenever a wedding was held in the village, the monkeys would be given presents first and only then the ceremony would begin. Not everyone follows this custom,” sarpanch said. The villagers also feed the monkeys whenever they appear in front of the house. No one refused them food, he added.

This story has been published from the electronic agency’s feed with no modifications to the text.

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