In an instance of gross violation of laws preventing cruelty towards animals, a monkey is being illegally tied up with a chain and left under the Bandra (East) skywalk to suffer in the scorching heat
In an instance of gross violation of laws preventing cruelty towards animals, a monkey is being illegally tied up with a chain and left under the Bandra (East) skywalk to suffer in the scorching heat.
Last week, Mulund-based NGO RAWW (Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare) received a call on their helpline from an animal lover who had seen the monkey frequently tied up under the skywalk in Bandra (East), and left unattended by its owner, without food and water.
When RAWW volunteers made the trip to the Bandra (East) skywalk again on Wednesday, they found the monkey tied with a chain
On Monday, RAWW volunteers reached the spot to verify the facts, but did not find the monkey. They made the trip again on Wednesday, and found the monkey tied with a chain.
Hungry, thirsty, and begging
When our team reached the Bandra (East) skywalk near the station, we saw that the monkey was tied with a chain. It hadn’t been given food and water, and was sitting under the sun. We tried to get details about the owner of the monkey, but people who were present there told us that we should leave the spot immediately, or we could fall into trouble,” said Pawan Sharma, founder of RAWW.
On Friday afternoon, mid-day visited the spot to see if the monkey was still there, but couldn’t spot it. A paan shop owner in the locality said, “We don’t know about the owner of the monkey, but frequently we see it tied with a chain under the skywalk. Its owner takes the monkey to slum areas for begging.”
RAWW members said they have informed the Mumbai Police about the mistreatment, but no action has been taken yet.
All species of monkey are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. This Act declares that all Indian wildlife is government property, and prohibits the capture and possession of monkeys.
“Irrespective of the ban on such activities, it is unfortunate to see them being practised in a developed city like Mumbai. We expect strict action to be taken by concerned departments against perpetrators of such violence, to set the right example. Because of negligence, the animals suffer,” Sharma added.
The island city and suburbs come under the jurisdiction of the Bombay Territorial Department, a wing of the Thane Forest Department. Thane FD Range Forest Officer (RFO) Anil Todarmal said, “I will instruct my staff to go and rescue the monkey tomorrow. We will also take strict action against the owner, as per the law.”
In Mumbai, many monkeys are forced to beg and perform. This illegal practice can be only stopped if the forest department officials start taking strict action against the perpetrators of such cruelty. Keeping the animal in this way, without permission, is a violation of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and the owner can also be booked under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA).”
— Krishna Tiwari, Forest and Wildlife Conservation Centre (FWCC)
The rulebook says
Any animal protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is not allowed as a pet, and thus cannot be caught, chained or tamed. If any person is caught illegally keeping the banned animals, the Forest Department has the power to confiscate the animal and arrest the owner. Monkeys come under Schedule 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. According to the forest department officials, keeping a monkey as a pet is a violation of Section 22 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA).
As per the rules, performing animals should be registered officially. If they aren’t registered, making them perform becomes a cognisable offence, and the owner can be arrested on the spot.