Around 40 monkeys were suspected to be poisoned to death and stuffed in gunny bags in Mahabubabad district of Telangana, a Forest Department official said on Wednesday. The carcasses were found on a hillock near Sanigapuram village in the district on Tuesday, he said.
Since the dead monkeys, including young ones, were in a highly decomposed state, postmortem could not be conducted, the official said. Forest and police officials are investigating people from nearby villages.
"The monkeys are suspected to have been poisoned to death. As of now, who has done this act is not clear. Whether farmers (to protect their crop) or someone else. We are inquiring," the official told PTI. According to Hindustan Times, Mahabubabad police have registered a case under section 429 (mischief by killing or maiming an animal) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and section 11(l) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Police have said that the incident is likely to have occured around five to six days ago.
Local residents told reporters that they found the dead monkeys after following a foul smell that was emanating from their decomposed carcasses. TNM had earlier reported on the problems faced by residents of Mahabubabad district because of the rise in the monkey population in areas with human habitation. A former employee of the Dornakal Municipality had told TNM that one of the reasons for the problem was the conversion of forest lands into agricultural land.
Municipality officials had said that controlling monkeys had become difficult. They said that catching monkeys was an expensive affair, considering the high number of monkeys in the region, and the high amount charged by monkey catchers. Officials said that even though there were attempts to leave monkeys in the Bhadrachalam forests, they kept returning to areas with human habitation.
With inputs from PTI