Cyclone Phailin and the continuous rains since October 21 seem to have changed the behavioural pattern of monkeys, making them ferocious.
Hundreds of these monkeys are now moving in and around cyclone hit Berhampur proving to be a danger for the inhabitants. A visit to the anti-rabies vaccination centre at MKCG medical college and hospital in the city hints that there has been rise in monkey-bite cases. The doctors at the centre accept that monkey-bite cases have increased gradually after the cyclone hit the district on October 12 and it is increasing gradually. They claimed that they have adequate supply of anti-rabies vaccine to face it.
In the past also a large number of monkeys used to roam around the city. But they were not causing any major physical harm to humans. But all of a sudden they have started attacking humans without any provocation. This reporter and his daughter faced a serious attack by a bunch of monkeys on Tuesday morning. According to their behavioural pattern usually monkeys never attack unprovoked, that too from back, said the Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) S. S. Mishra. But the monkeys came from the back and bit the back and both upper arms at several places.
When asked about it, the DFO said this unlikely behavioural change in monkeys may be due to their mental stress caused by the cyclone, lack of shelter and food for these primates after that. Cyclone Phailin brought down most trees in the city reducing the food availability and shelter for these monkeys.