A monkey has killed a 12-day-old baby in India, the second severe monkey-on-human injury to have taken place in the country within the space of less than a day, Reuters is reporting.
Sikandra police spokesperson Ajay Kaushal says the infant’s mother was breastfeeding him when a pack of monkeys set upon mother and child and snatched the baby, trying to run off with it. One of the monkeys bit the baby on the head; he or she was chased off when family members began hitting it with sticks and throwing rocks at it.
The baby’s father, who asked to be identified only as “Yogesh,” says via The Independent that it happened so fast, he and the neighbors had little time to react.
“The main door of the house was open and my wife was breastfeeding our son. Suddenly a monkey barged inside our house and grabbed the child by the neck. Before [we] could understand anything, the monkey took away our son.”
The baby was taken to a hospital, but unfortunately, he did not survive his injuries, and he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Neighbors say that the very same monkey had attacked a 14-year-old girl just minutes earlier, but she sustained only minor injuries.
As it turns out, this is the second severe monkey-on-human injury to have taken place in India within the span of a few days. As the Times of India reports, at around 11:30 p.m. local time, a 59-year-old woman in Kagraul went outside to relieve herself when she was set upon by a troupe of monkeys. The primates bit and scratched her severely, and she bled to death at a nearby medical clinic.
Some Indian cities are infested with monkeys, and while tourists enjoy posing for pictures with the animals, they are anything but cute. They have evolved out of their natural fear of humans, they are hungry, and they are aggressive, says environmental activist Shravan Kumar Singh.
“Monkeys are everywhere in Agra. They are in all the five railway stations in the city, in hospitals, hotels and roads. They come in search of food, but they snatch and attack as well.”
And as Indian cities expand further into the jungles and forests that the animals once called home, the problem is only going to get worse, says Agra Mayor Naveen Jain.
“Monkey menace has been increasing in the city since the past several years due to the negligence of the forest department and the district administration as nothing has been done to check their population growth in the city.”
Over in Dehli, according to CNN, officials are attempting to control the monkey problem by capturing and sterilizing them.