An Indian infant kidnapped by a monkey according to his family was found dead, the local police said Monday, illustrating the recurring problems of cohabitation between man and this animal in India.
The baby, an elderly boy of 16 days, slept Friday under a mosquito net in his village of Talabasta, in the state of Odisha (east) when he was taken by a rhesus macaque, a pink-faced species that proliferates in this Asian country
"The mother says she saw a monkey take her child, she gave the alarm but the monkey jumped quickly on the roof and evaporated," AFP SM Baral told AFP. sub-inspector of Cuttack District
"We started a search with the rangers and yesterday (Sunday) the baby was found dead in a well," she added.
autopsy showed that the child succumbed to asphyxiation caused by drowning. "There were no marks of injury, maybe the monkey dropped it into the well," Baral said, saying the case was now closed.
Monkeys are a growing nuisance in the area where the baby lived, local media reported.
In March last year, schools were forced to remain closed in Kendrapada district, Odisha region, because of primate attacks, according to the Hindustan Times. In the same month, a public service worker died of head injuries after a monkey jumped from a tree, according to the newspaper.
Although revered in this Hindu-majority nation, the monkeys represent a threat in many cities. They can ransack gardens, offices and roofs, sometimes attacking people to steal their food.
According to their advocates, these problems stem from the encroachment of urban areas on their natural habitat.