VILLUPURAM: A one-and-a-half-year-old girl from Annai Nagar near Auroville was bitten by a monkey on Tuesday morning, while she was sleeping in her house, raising concerns over the simian menace and the resultant man-animal conflict.
The victim Kaviya’s mother had gone to drop the older children at school.
Meanwhile, the girl’s neighbour heard her cry and rushed to the house. There he found the monkey, which had bitten the girl. Immediately, he hurled whatever he could lay hands on at the monkey and it ran out of the house. Then, he rescued the child and took her to the Puducherry Government Hospital. The girl sustained injuries on the head, requiring eight stitches. She was admitted to the ICU till Thursday evening. Later, she was shifted to a regular ward.
It may be noted that the residents of the villages near Auroville have had to live with the constant fear of an attack by a monkey, which had left as many as 30 persons injured in the past one year. The villagers hoped that the forest officials would take action to relocate the monkey.
There are more than 500 families living in Royapettai of Vanur taluk and Annai Nagar of Puducherry region near Auroville.
Most of them are farm labourers. They leave their small children at home when they go for work. “Till date, the monkey has attacked more than 30 people. A month back, it bit a 45-day-old infant and on Tuesday it bit the aforementioned Kaviya. Though we had lodged several complaints, no action has been taken,” said Abimannan(62) of Annai Nagar.
Sadiq Ali, founder of Wildlife and Nature Conservation Trust, said, “The monkey will target children and elderly people as they are harmless and won’t fight back. We tried to catch the troublesome monkey a few weeks back, but failed.”
“We are planning to bring cages from Tiruvannamalai and trap the monkey once we get permission from the forest officials, he added.
Speaking to Express, Villupuram district forest officer Sujatha said, “The monkey is clever and is alone, which makes things difficult to catch it with a cage. So, we have sought help from Vandalur zoo, near Chennai, to send experts to catch the monkey with a tranquiliser gun, which is easy and harmless.”