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Monkeys buck taboos, marry in Indian ceremony

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

Rajesh, a 38-year-old auto rickshaw driver, plays with his monkey Raju, "the groom," in his house at Banetha village, located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, July 4, 2011. Indian forest department officials unsuccessfully tried to a stop a unique simian wedding citing it violated the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act. Monkeys play a significant role in Hindu religion where they are worshipped in the form of Lord Hanuman.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

Forest department officials try to persuade villagers to call off a wedding between two monkeys at Talwas village, located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, July 5. Indian forest department officials unsuccessfully tried to a stop a unique simian wedding citing it violated the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act. Monkeys play a significant role in Hindu religion where they are worshipped in the form of Lord Hanuman.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

A forest guard stands next to Chinki, "the bride," after it was found tied to a tree outside Talwas village, located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, July 6.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

Women dance in the village temple during a pre-wedding function at Talwas village, located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, July 5.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

Visitors travel on the rooftop of a bus as they come to watch a wedding between two monkeys at Talwas village, located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, July 6.

Reuters reports:

TALWAS, India — The tale, set in the forests of northwestern India, had all the ingredients of a perfect Bollywood love story: emotion, celebration, star-crossed lovers and a nail-biting climax.

The only difference was that the lovers were monkeys, taking part in India's first simian wedding — with the whole unfolding drama a classic clash between age-old village belief and the demands of modern life skeptical of that way of thought. Continue reading.