NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A monkey has snatched a 12-day-old Indian boy from his mother and killed him, police said.
“A group of monkeys entered the victim’s house and one of the monkeys snatched the baby from his mother who was breastfeeding him, and ran away with the baby,” said Ajay Kaushal, officer in charge of the Sikandra police station.
“The monkey bit the infant’s head and left the baby when people chased it with sticks and threw stones at it.” The bleeding infant was rushed to hospital but declared dead on arrival.
The incident took place in Runkata town on the outskirts of Agra, home to India’s most famous monument, the Taj Mahal.
Local environmental activist Shravan Kumar Singh said monkeys were becoming increasingly aggressive as they had been displaced from natural habitats, destroyed by the expanding city.
“Monkeys are everywhere in Agra,” Singh said. “They are in all the five railway stations in the city, in hospitals, hotels and roads. They come in search of food, but they snatch and attack as well.”
In May, a group of monkeys attacked two foreign tourists at the Taj Mahal.
A group of local organizations and individuals are campaigning for authorities to compensate victims of monkey attacks and for the sterilization of monkeys and their exclusion from legislation protecting wildlife, Singh said.
Reporting by Malini Menon; Editing by Martin Howell and Andrew Roche