VILLUPURAM: A monkey that became violent after its partner was killed by some drunkards last year and attacked over 40 people at a couple of villages near Auroville, finally fell into a honey trap on Wednesday.
After multiple attempts to catch the simian failed, the forest department set up a honey trap by planting a female monkey in a cage in Annai Nagar in the first week of this month. That seemed to work as the male monkey used to come and sit near the trap for long hours. However, it would escape when forest officials tried to catch it.
On Wednesday afternoon, the monkey ran out of luck as it was caught in a net in a farm at Annai Nagar. “It was then put in a cage and was brought in a mini-lorry to our office. Veterinary doctors will examine it and keep it under surveillance for some days since it is very agitated and aggressive,” said G Sathiyamoorthy, deputy conservator of forests, Puducherry.
For residents of Annai Nagar in Puducherry and Royapettai on the Puducherry-Tamil Nadu border near Auroville, it was a big relief as they were living under the constant fear of being attacked by the angry simian.
In fact, Kavya, a one-and-a-half-year-old girl, was mauled by it twice and she sustained serious injuries. She was hospitalised in June and August this year. After the second attack, her parents, fearing more attacks, took their child to her mother’s village from the hospital without returning to their village.
Soon after reports of attacks, officials of the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry forest departments began the hunt for the monkey and placed cages in various places, but the animal was smarter. On July 23, experts from Vandalur joined the hunt and tried to use a tranquiliser gun, but that too failed as the monkey hid in the bushes and didn’t come out for a week. That was when they opted for the honey trap.
“When the news broke, we couldn’t believe that monkey was caught, since it was such a slippery customer. It was only when we saw it in the cage that we were relieved. We have to thank the Forest Department for their efforts to catch the monkey and also The New Indian Express for keeping it in the spotlight,” said Muniammal, a 70-year-old woman of Royapettai, who was also bitten by the monkey while washing vessels.