Monkey Business


A 1963 memo about a certain kind of ‘pest’ on campus

IISc offers a home to a range of flora and fauna, from the slender loris to stray dogs, and has a number of visitors passing through, including rare birds such as the Kashmir flycatcher.

In a circular from the Archives, dated 26 April 1963, we learn that monkeys were seen as a menace on campus, enough to prompt two such memos offering a reward for captured monkeys. While our archives do not seem to have the first of these circulars, the second, in our possession, was issued to office bearers, and professors and assistant professors in charge of departments, sections and laboratories by AG Pai, Registrar of the Institute. It says, “In partial modification of this office circular No. R(GL)126/63-4096 dated 5 April 1963, it is hereby notified that the reward will be Rs. 8/- (in place of Rs. 2/-) per monkey and Rs. 12/- (in place of Rs. 5/-) for the monkey leader provided these are from amongst those pestering the Institute campus.”

Were the rewards offered for monkeys that were captured and brought in alive or dead? And how could the “monkey leader” be identified? Unfortunately, the Archives doesn’t give us the answers!


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