More monkey deaths in Thrissur, KFD ruled out

Disease among Bonnet macaques claims 11 animals

A disease is spreading among the Bonnet macaque population in Vadakkanchery, near Thrissur, claiming 11 animals so far.

Two animal deaths were reported on Monday. Though it was initially suspected that the monkey deaths were due to Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), which could be transmitted to human beings by ticks found on monkeys, the samples tested negative at the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. The test results from the NIV were obtained on Monday and the cause of death was not KFD as apprehended. The cause of disease needed to be investigated further, said R. Jayachandran, Chief Disease Investigation Officer, Chief Disease Investigation Office, Palode.


Veterinary experts suspect that a sexually transmitted disease might have broken out among the monkey population. All the dead ones were found to be females in the breeding age group. Post-mortem reports indicated that all the dead animals had uterine infections, said David Abraham, assistant forest veterinarian, Thrissur. An alpha male, which would have mated with the females, might have spread the disease among the population. There were around 15 to 20 members in the group and a few of them were exhibiting signs of being sick and inactive, he said. The deaths were reported at Vallalthol Nagar grama panchayat, near Vadakkanchery.

Forest officials in the area had been alerted and they would look out for any animal deaths, said A. Ranjan, Divisional Forest Officer, Thrissur. The carcass was burned after post-mortem.

Meanwhile, forest veterinarians have sought the clearance of the Chief Wildlife Warden, Kerala, to capture the sick animals and to keep them under observation. The monkeys had to be caught using butterfly nets as done in the case of street dogs. Tranquillisation of the animals was not advisable as the darted ones could escape to the interior forest and die there, said a forest veterinarian.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 3:09:22 AM |

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