Patients at an Indian hospital have been receiving some surprise visitors after monkeys learned how to operate its automatic doors.
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi recently installed a new entry system – with unforeseen consequences.
Local rhesus macaque monkeys soon worked out how to use the motion-censor doors and have since been running amok in the wards, kitchens and corridors.
They have terrorised patients in the neurosurgery department and recovery rooms, stealing food, playing with medical equipment, attacking staff and generally causing chaos.
An unnamed doctor told the Times of India about one of his encounters with the red-bottomed monkeys.
‘I was at the patient recovery room when a nurse cried out that a monkey had sneaked in,’ he said.
‘The monkey had somehow entered the main corridor and was hiding in the false roof. As soon as the security guard moved away, it jumped inside. The doors open once they detect any movement, and this is how the simian got in.’
With an average of one monkey bite case in the hospital every week, authorities have taken steps to scare off the macaques.
They have hired two larger monkeys – grey langurs – to chase them away.
Killing or trapping the macaques is not an option, due to their association with the Hindu deity Hanuman.