The most recent monkey attack on Tuesday left 10 people injured, taking the total wounded to 90.

Spate of monkey attacks makes residents of a Hyderabad colony prisoners in their homes
news Man-Animal Conflict Friday, December 02, 2016 - 19:10

The roads of APAU colony in New Malakpet seems deserted, the doors and windows of houses on either side shut tight. The gates of the colony’s park are locked so that no children can enter. Ask around and you find out there’s a reason the colony looks like a ghost town – monkeys. 

The colony has been facing a series of monkey attacks. Most recently, an attack on Tuesday left 10 people injured, taking the total number of people in the area wounded by monkeys to 90.

K Ramani, a 44-year-old housewife, has been living in the colony for the past 14 years. Lately, though, she hasn’t dared to venture onto the terrace of her house because the monkeys often leap across the rooftops. 

“For the past two weeks, I’ve been hanging clothes in the backyard or front garden. I can’t take the risk of going to the terrace. The monkeys often come from behind the house and jump from one roof to another,” Ramani said.

Her neighbour was attacked on the terrace just a week ago, she said. 

(K Ramani, resident of APAU colony)

Ramani doesn’t allow her grandson to play outside the house in the evenings anymore either. “There is no fixed time but mostly they come in the morning and evening, so it is dangerous for children to play outside. Even if they go, they come back by 6.30pm,” she explained.

While others might think her overly cautious, people in the colony say her precautions are perfectly reasonable. 

“I usually go out for morning walks, but for past four days, I’ve avoided them. Just two days ago another two people were injured in an attack,” said Satyanaran Murthy, a 77-year-old resident of the colony.

The monkeys are particularly threatening, he said, because they often come in large groups of more than ten animals, making it hard to defend against them. 

“As a precautionary measure we keep our doors and windows closed, and I have already bought medical supplies so that if anything happens, we can at least provide minimum first aid,” he added.

Inside the park, cages are kept to trap to catch monkeys but the food kept inside the cages to bait the animals simply goes to waste.

The traps, set by the municipal authorities have failed to curb the threat the residents are facing.

“They have kept fruit inside the cages, but the monkeys don’t eat that and they have failed to catch any of them,” said Satyanarayana.

He added that though the municipality has employed a teams of monkey catchers, in two weeks the team has managed to catch only two monkeys. 

“When the monkey catchers come, the monkeys either don’t show up or they escape. We are really scared by the attacks happening here. They come almost every other day,” he said.

V Manikonda, a Hyderabad-based environmentalist said that the monkey attacks were occurring because of a destruction of their natural habitat.

“The deforestation (in the area) could be one of the reasons for these attacks. For now there can’t be any immediate solution other than the community and government work together for the safety of the people. But if their (monkeys’) habitat is being destroyed, they will continue attacking in urban areas as there are no more forests where they can find food,” he said.