15 monkeys die after ‘water war’ in Madhya Pradesh
Fifteen monkeys have died of heat stroke in a Madhya Pradesh forest after a group of larger and stronger monkeys apparently denied them access to a river.
Nine Rhesus monkeys were found dead at the Punjapura forest range in Dewas district on Thursday.
Another six emaciated bodies were found the next day.
A group of larger and stronger monkeys, numbering around 60, was found to be “guarding” the nearby Pouni, a tributary of the Kali Sindh river, divisional forest officer P.N. Mishra said.
The river had dried up in many places, and according to residents, the group of bigger monkeys was seen chasing away others who tried to drink the water that was left, he said.
This stretch of river was only 800 metres away from the spot where the dead monkeys were found, Mishra said.
It was likely that the group of bigger monkeys did not allow the deceased ones to drink from the river, he said.
The mercury had risen to 45°C in the area in the past few days.
Autopsy revealed that the monkeys died of multi-organ failure following hyper-thermia (extremely high body temperature), he said, adding that viscera have been sent to a hospital at Sagar for further tests.
“We have made water arrangement nearby for the group to which the deceased monkeys belonged,” he said.
“It is shocking that this herbivorous species has developed the tendency of dominating a water source,” Mishra added.
Usually, it is deer which fall victim to water scarcity in jungle, he said.