Indian woman killed by monkeys days after snatched baby dies
An Indian woman has died after being attacked by monkeys, in the latest of a spate of incidents involving the animals – including the death of a newborn baby.
Bhoomi Devi, 58, was attacked by the Simian monkeys during the night on Wednesday when she stepped out of her house at in Agra, in the country’s north, according to local media reports.
She was later found with severe injuries and transported to hospital, where she died.
The incident comes just days after another money snatched a 12-day-old boy from his mother and killed him in Runkata town, on the outskirts of Agra, which is home to the Taj Mahal.
Indian police said a group of the animals entered the boy’s home before one of them ran away with him.
“One of the monkeys snatched the baby from his mother who was breastfeeding him, and ran away with the baby,” said Ajay Kaushal, officer in charge of the Sikandra police station, on Wednesday.
“The monkey bit the infant’s head and left the baby when people chased it with sticks and threw stones at it.”
The bleeding infant was rushed to hospital but declared dead on arrival.
Last month, another man also died as a result of an attack involving a group of monkeys.
Dharampal Singh, 72, was collecting firewood in Baghpat – about 250km north of Agra in the Uttar Pradesh region – when the monkeys began throwing bricks from a dilapidated building at him.
After Mr Singh was hit in the head and chest with the projectiles and died, local police labelled the incident as a “bizarre incident”.
In a fourth incident earlier this year, another newborn baby was snatched by a monkey from his mother in the village of Talabasta, before his body was found in a well.
“The baby was sleeping next to its mother when the monkey allegedly carried him away. The mother immediately raised cries for help but the creature fled with the baby and disappeared from her view,” police officer PC Pradhan said.
“We have registered a case of unnatural death and are getting an autopsy done.
“There are bruises on the child’s left hand. The baby might have slipped from the clutches of the monkey, and died after falling into the well.
“There is a big monkey menace in the area. They snatch eatables from passers-by or troop into homes, open fridges and steal food items.”
The spate of incidents has caused local environment activists to raise concerns about the animals’ place in India.
Local environmental activist Shravan Kumar Singh said monkeys were becoming increasingly aggressive as they had been displaced from natural habitats, destroyed by the expanding city.
“Monkeys are everywhere in Agra,” Singh said.
“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.”
A group of local organisations and individuals are also campaigning for authorities to compensate victims of monkey attacks and for the sterilisation of monkeys and their exclusion from legislation protecting wildlife, Singh said.