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Rogue monkeys in tree kill man by throwing bricks

October 26, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A band of “rogue” monkeys throwing bricks from a tree have stoned a man to death, leading to renewed warnings that travellers should watch out for aggressive monkeys.

The victim, Dharampal Singh, 72, suffered head and chest injuries and was later pronounced dead in hospital in Uttar Pradesh in northern India.

The monkeys had armed themselves with bricks they had collected earlier from a derelict building nearby in the town of Tikri and had taken them into a nearby tree, apparently preparing an ambush.

The aggressive monkeys stalking the area are believed to be rhesus macaques, a protected species. Devout Hindus revere the monkeys, seeing them as a manifestation in this material world of the monkey god Hanuman.

Singh’s brother Krishnapal told The Times of India : “Monkeys threw more than 20 bricks at Dharampal on Thursday. These rogue monkeys are the real culprits and must pay for it.”

Police say the law does not permit them to prosecute monkeys, so a murder or manslaughter charge is impossible. They are calling Singh’s death an accident, which does not satisfy his relatives.

Locals are warning visitors to watch out for aggressive monkeys.

In 2007 a horde of angry monkeys attacked and killed the deputy mayor of India’s capital, Delhi. During a visit to India last November by former US president Barack Obama, men were hired to chase monkeys from his path with broomsticks and catapults.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) warns of various hazards in India, including water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (meningitis, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, tuberculosis, diphtheria and rabies included) but does not warn specifically about monkeys. The British Medical Journal notes that while dogs remain the main reservoir of rabies in India, “the number of cases involving monkey bites has been increasing over the years”.

Rhesus macaque in Kinnerasani Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh, India

Monkeys are cute but can be dangerous, and not just in India. In 2016, the former chairman of one of China’s most iconic confectionary brands was killed by a flying rock thrown by a monkey.

That incident occurred at Yuntai Mountain, a scenic spot in Henan province in central China, home to bands of wild monkeys. Weng Mao, 67, was admiring gorgeous scenery when a monkey biffed a rock at him. Weng was rushed to a local hospital but died there soon afterwards, the South China Morning Post reported.

Written by Peter Needham

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