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Monkey menace, 30 and counting

- Sixteen catchers from Balasore on the hunt in Cuttack houses

Cuttack, Dec. 16: Manorama Badajena, a resident of College Square, is now afraid to step out of her house after her five-year-old daughter Pratikhya was attacked by a monkey yesterday.

The monkey has unleashed a reign of terror in Piligrim Road, College Square and Ranihat areas. It has already attacked more than 30 persons, including several children, in the last two months.

“My daughter had gone to bring a glass of water for my husband when the monkey suddenly appeared on our campus and bit her leg yesterday morning,” said Badajena.

Most of the residents said fear induced by the monkey compelled them to keep their doors and windows shut throughout the day.

Taking note of the situation, the forest department today engaged a monkey-catcher group to capture the monkey.

“A 16-member monkey-catcher group from Balasore has laid nets and traps at several buildings. We hope that the monkey will be captured at the earliest,” said city forest ranger Asit Panigrahy.

Panigrahy further said that in an earlier attempt, the squad had failed to capture the monkey.

The members of the monkey-catcher group, which reached here from Balasore yesterday evening, are hopeful to capture the monkey.

“The monkey has attacked me twice while I was preparing food in the kitchen. Somehow, I managed to shut the door. But, the monkey attacked my son who was sleeping in another room,” said Priti Gupta, another homemaker.

The animal, however, appears to be normal if somebody offers it food.

However, many residents of these localities are afraid of going to the terrace and roof of their houses because of the monkey.

“People are forced to move in groups and are using sticks to chase the monkey when they spot it near their house,” said Bhagwan Muduli, whose five-year-old son was also bitten by the monkey last month.

Muduli added that they had lodged a number of complaints with the forest department. But, no action was taken to capture the monkey from the locality.