Monkeys trapped in backwaters

Staff Correspondent

BELGAUM: A large number of monkeys have been trapped in the backwaters of the Markandeya dam.

About 100 monkeys are said have taken shelter on a tree in Rankumbi village after the area was inundated in the backwaters of the dam about 40 km from here. Some of them fell into the water and drowned, according to reports.

The plight of these monkeys is heartrending as efforts to rescue them have gone in vain. The simians, which have panicked, are screeching incessantly for the past three days. The situation threatens to worsen as the inflow into the dam is steadily increasing. Rankumbi is one of the nine villages facing submergence under the project. Except using a boat, there is no other way to reach the monkeys. But there is also the fear of the monkeys attacking the rescuers.

The villagers say that the monkeys took shelter on the tree when the area got waterlogged. Initially, people tried to drive the monkeys away but in vain. A team of personnel from the Forest Department also tried to rescue them on Monday. A boat carrying peanuts and other eatables was taken near the tree hoping that it would attract them. But the monkeys did not budge from the tree. A mechanized boat from Karwar is expected to reach here by Tuesday evening. The Forest Department officials are continuing the efforts to rescue the monkeys.

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