CHENNAI: After four days of tough chase, a monkey that bit 38 persons, including 25 children, in and around Chromepet and Hastinapuram in south Chennai was rescued by forest department officials and volunteers on Monday.
The monkey had got addicted to chocolates and biscuits after a school-going kid in a residential area in Sembakkam began to feed it with those items.
“Once the boy began to regularly feed the monkey, it left its group and began to follow the boy. Since he was not in town for a few days, it went hungry and out of hunger, began to attack people,” said Nishanth Ravi, a wildlife conservationist, who helped forest department personnel with the rescue.
What’s more, the monkey isn’t eating even bananas or other fruits now, Nishanth added.
The monkey belonged to the species Bonnet Macaque, locally known as “naatu korangu”, said Velachery forest SI AC Edison, who along with forest guard M Pandian led the search operation.
“They are found in the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest and other areas and hence come into residential areas. Normally these monkeys are quite friendly, but this one created a lot of problems after children began to give it sweets,” Edison said.
A number of techniques were used by forest officials who persevered for eight days to catch the monkey. Finally, a team of 12 rescuers including the foresters, Nishanth and volunteers Robin, Ravi and other locals was deployed.
“It had gotten into many shops and created havoc. A child that had been bitten by the monkey now has fever. But the monkey doesn’t have rabies or any disease. In fact, when not hungry, it is very friendly,” Edison said.
The monkey has been sent to the Vandalur zoo where it is undergoing treatment. It will soon be released in the Tindivanam or Nellore Reserve Forest away from human settlement, mainly because it had begun to bite humans, Edison noted.
To avoid such situations in future, Nishanth said that people must stay away from feeding wild animals.