Mumbai, February 22: Due to facing an acid attack by unidentified people in Bhandup area of Mumbai, a monkey died a painful death on Saturday after week of suffering. Deep injuries emerged on his face and chest and the attack is dubbed as ‘Shame of Bhandup’ on social networking sites.
Animal rights activists and residents of Tusletpada also blamed the Forest Department officials' delayed response for the attack on the monkey. They said that they had been calling up the Forest Department for more than a month, asking them to relocate a troop of monkeys that had been causing nuisance in the area. According to their complaints, the monkeys would enter their homes, chew on wires, and break things.
“I got a call from a resident saying a badly injured monkey had been spotted in the area.We couldn't trace the animal despite a few calls from the residents, and informed the Forest Department that the safest solution would be to tranquilise it with darts gun," Pawan Sharma, of NGO Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW) said.
On Friday, another resident called up RAWW's hotline to report that a monkey had entered his handloom factory. "The monkey was lying in a corner and hardly moving. I must have called at least 50 numbers for help," Ashok Shukla, the owner of the factory located near Tulshetpada, said.
A team from the NGO found the monkey's skin had melted away, and its body was covered in blood and maggot wounds. It was rushed to Thane SPCA, where doctor confirmed that it had suffered an acid attack.
The activists said that the Forest Department's territorial division neither had the necessary contraptions such as tranquilizer darts guns, nor the trained staff to handle such operations. The Forest Department outsources such work to NGOs, who are not authorised to use equipment such as tranquilizers.
"Our team has to rescue dolphins, whales, monkeys and many other animals. They get hundreds of calls every day. Hence, we also keep track of monkey catchers who hand the animals over to us. It is not true that our team did not inspect the area," KP Singh, Chief conservator of Forests (Thane Circle) said.
"In a crowded area, it is not a good idea to do so, because in case the dart misses its mark and hits someone else, it can create a bigger problem," he added.