Nine bonnet macaques found dead in Kil Kotagiri

Three of the four baby bonnet macaques that are being cared for by the Forest Department staff in the Nilgiris.

Three of the four baby bonnet macaques that are being cared for by the Forest Department staff in the Nilgiris.  

Suspected to have eaten vegetables laced with fertilizers; 4 baby macaques rescued

Nine bonnet macaques were found dead in Kil Kotagiri on Wednesday after they were suspected to have consumed vegetables heavily laced with fertilizers.

Four baby macaques that were orphaned by the death of the adults of a troop of macaques are being hand-fed by Forest Department staff.

The residents of Amman Nagar in Kil Kotagiri, under the Kotagiri Forest Range, found the dead simians on Wednesday morning and alerted the Forest Department. Senior officials reached the spot and ordered an autopsy.

Autopsy findings

Though the officials initially suspected that the monkeys could have been poisoned by local farmers retaliating to crop raids, autopsy findings revealed indirect poisoning caused by consuming vegetables laced with chemical fertilizers as the primary cause of death.

K. Saravanakumar, Assistant Conservator of Forests, Nilgiris Forest Division, said the autopsy revealed that the monkeys had eaten fresh produce, including lettuce and broccoli, from nearby agricultural fields. “We did not find any specific poison that seem to have been kept to kill the monkeys,” he said.

The veterinarians who performed the autopsy said the animals ate vegetables that had very recently been sprayed with chemicals to get rid of pests and to promote growth.

“The animals also had injuries consistent with having fallen from the trees, and these injuries too could have contributed to their deaths,” said Mr. Saravanakumar.

While veterinarians from the Department of Animal Husbandry are being contacted for advice on how best to take care of the baby macaques, the Forest Department is also considering whether these will stand a better chance of survival if they are sent to a zoological park or a veterinary facility for further care till they reach adulthood.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 4:30:54 AM |

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