A 12-day-old baby and a 59-year-old woman were killed by monkeys in India on Monday, leading to calls for better management of wild animals.
At about 11:30 pm on November 12, Bhuran Devi, 59, was relieving herself in a field in Kagraul, Agra, when monkeys attacked her, the Times of India reported. Devi was taken to a clinic but died of her wounds the following morning.
According to local police officer Sanjul Pandey, Devi could have made it out alive had her family taken her to a bigger hospital.
Earlier on the same day, a monkey in Runkata town on the outskirts of Agra snatched a 12-day-old baby from his mother’s lap when she was breastfeeding him, CNN reported.
Agra police officer Abhishek said the monkey bit the infant’s head while villagers hurled stones and sticks at it. The child’s body was found on the terrace of an adjacent house with severe injuries to his face.
Naveen Jain, the mayor of Agra, said the main cause of the monkey epidemic was a combination of forest officers’ negligence and district administration incompetence to keep the monkey population in check.
Monkey attacks are common in India, especially in the country’s capital New Delhi. In Central Delhi, government offices are surrounded by dozens of monkeys swinging from the trees or lounging in the sun on the sidewalk.
According to the Delhi government, 268 cases of monkey bites were registered in the city in 2016.
Local environmental activist Shravan Kumar Singh said monkeys were becoming increasingly aggressive as they had been displaced from their natural habitats, which had been destroyed by the expanding city.
To tackle the issue, the Indian government passed a project to control populations of wild animals such as monkeys and boars with immune-contraception last year.