HASSAN: A group of monkeys that was found dead stuffed inside gunny bags near Hassan was to be released into a forest. But monkey catchers, instead of opening the sacks and releasing bonnet macaques into the wild, had dumped the unopened sacks by the roadside at Chodanahalli of Belur taluk, the investigation has revealed.While 38 monkeys died, others were severely injured. They had been captured from a coconut farm at Ugane and Kyatanahalli villages in Hassan taluk as they were allegedly raiding crops. Monkey catchers Ramu and Yashoda had lured the monkeys into cages and then stuffed them into sacks.
The two, who are a couple from Banavara, were among the five people arrested based on a tipoff. They have been booked under Wildlife Protection Act and remanded to judicial custody.Hassan Deputy Commissioner R Girish told the media on Monday that the police also arrested Manja, Rajegowda and Ramanuja Iyengar of Ugane village. Some farmers, led by Ramanuja -- who is an areca nut and coconut
grower, had approached the couple to capture the monkey at Ugane and adjoining villages.
Though preliminary reports suggested that the monkeys suffocated to death, officials have also found a chemical substance inside the cage and sent it for analysis. The viscera samples of the monkeys too have been sent for forensic examination to confirm the cause of death, the DC said.
As the tragic death of monkey was because of farmers trying to get rid of a menace, the district administration is planning to offer them compensation as is done in case of destruction of crops by elephants. The DC said that a three-member committee, including him, Superintendent of Police KR Srinivasa Gowda and DFO Basavaraj, will submit a detailed report to the Karnataka High Court, which had taken up a suo motu case on monkey deaths.