MADURAI: After several monkeys were found dead on Tiruparankundram Hills owing to reasons unknown, the district forest officer ordered an inquiry. Sources from the department said that troops of monkeys had settled on the hill, which was not a habitat of the animal, after devotees started feeding them with fruits, vegetables, and other edibles.
However, free food and water started coming their way after the lockdown was imposed on March 24. To prevent the animals from starving, the forest officers had initially allowed several volunteers and police personnel into the area to feed them. This was later stopped following reports that animals could contract the infection from humans. Nevertheless, a few volunteers had been visiting the hill to feed the monkeys without the department's permission, sources said.
It was under these circumstances that the department learnt about the death of several monkeys on the hill. The carcasses were sent for postmortem examination at a veterinary hospital in Tiruparankundram. The cause of death will be known only after the reports are released. District Forest Officer S Anand on Thursday said that he was waiting for report to decide on the next course of action. "It they are being killed or getting succumbed to any disease, necessary action will be taken," he said.