Video Showing Bus Driver Letting Monkey Drive Gets Him Suspended

The monkey refused to sit anywhere else.

A bus driver in India has been suspended after letting a monkey "drive" his bus with 30 passengers on it—and the incident was caught on video. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is investigating the incident and says it has been deluged with calls from concerned members of the public. Passenger safety cannot be put at risk by "allowing a monkey on the steering" wheel, a spokesman said. Here is what the video showed.

Monkey At the Wheel

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According to reports, the monkey boarded the bus with other passengers and refused to sit anywhere but at the front of the vehicle. The driver, known as Mr. Prakesh, let the monkey "help" him to drive. Video footage shows the langur monkey sitting on the steering wheel, with the driver keeping at least one hand on the wheel at all times. Keep reading to learn more and see the video.

Thanks For the Ride

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The monkey reportedly left the bus when it arrived at its desired destination. The passengers on board the bus apparently had no issue with the furry creature, and didn't make any complaints. Authorities only found out about the incident when the video went viral, which is when they were forced to act and suspend Mr. Prakesh.

Helping Themselves To Food


Langur monkeys—also known as Hanuman monkeys—are considered sacred in India. Because people keep feeding the monkeys, they become bold and enter homes to take food (and even whiskey). "They usually entered into the offices. And they destroyed many things like … the computers, the wires, the electricity wires," says Dr. P.K. Sharma, the officer of health in the New Delhi Municipal Council. "But sometimes if the door is closed and if the monkey's inside, he will make havoc of the room because he feels that he's imprisoned."

Monkey Menace


Attempts to capture monkeys and send them to shelters didn't work as the sanctuaries quickly filled to capacity. Sterilization has also been considered but is not deemed a practical solution to the monkey menace. "It's very difficult to catch a monkey and then operate on him," says Dr. Sharma.

Out Of a Job


Langur monkeys used to be trained by handlers to scare off smaller Rhesus monkeys, a practice that was banned. Instead, people are hired to imitate the monkeys and scare off the pests. "Having the company of a langur was effective. You would do the job better together. It was like a partner," says former trainer Pramod Kumar. "But now it's just men, aimlessly running around chasing monkeys." 

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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