A residential society in the suburbs had a dramatic Sunday morning when an injured monkey entered their premises and made residents run helter-skelter. The animal entered NG Sun City Phase II, located at Thakur Village, in Kandivli (East).
The society is adjacent to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. On Saturday night around 11 pm, the security supervisor of the building saw that there was a wild monkey perched on a branch of a tree outside the society premises.
“In the morning yesterday around 10 am, when I reached the building, I saw that the monkey was sitting outside the grill of the fourth floor flat of B wing,” said the supervisor. The animal was bleeding from its lips and had injuries on its stomach. As a crowd gathered to watch the spectacle, the noise scared the monkey, who then climbed the gas pipe and entered the 14th floor apartment of the Ghataks.
Atanu Ghatak was in the kitchen and his wife was in the bathroom when their two-year-old daughter Vidushi came running to him. The monkey had entered her room through a small opening in the grill and Vidushi had been alone in her room. Frightened, she ran to her father.
The man immediately locked the bedroom door. “Thankfully, the monkey did not attack our daughter. If I wouldn’t have been in the house, the situation could have turned ugly. As soon as it came in, I locked the bedroom door from outside. But the monkey escaped through the grill and climbed up to the terrace,” said Ghatak.
Residents say they had begun calling the Thane Forest Department (TFD) control room since 11 am to get the animal rescued. A society committee member said, “We are well aware that no animal attacks humans unless provoked. But, we were more worried that it might enter another flat.
Since it was injured, there was a chance of a conflict.” But, they alleged the response on the other side was: “It’s a Sunday and there is no one to do the job.” In fact, the person on the other line even suggested that members contact private rescuers and pay them to take the animal away.
It is the official duty of the Bombay Territorial Range of the TFD to rescue an animal that goes outside the boundary of the SGNP. However, it is a known fact that as the TFD does not have its own rescue team, it never reaches sites on time. Instead, it depends on the SGNP rescue team to carry out such operations. “When I told them it was their duty to rescue a wild animal, the officer on the other end told me he would send someone at the earliest,” Nitin Chakre, the property manager of the building told this newspaper.
After four hours of continuous calls, TFD Forest Guard Anil Bhosale reached the building around 3 pm, accompanied by another guard. However, both of them came empty-handed, without any equipments such as nets to rescue the animal. Worse, the guard went up to the terrace and started throwing stones at the monkey to ‘rescue’ it, saying it was the ‘best away to move the monkey away from the building’. After committee members objected to this, the TFD guard informed his senior. At 4.45 pm, the guard returned with a three-member rescue team from Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Thane (SPCA), an NGO. The volunteers had also brought along an animal ambulance.
The three-member team, along with the TFD guard, reached the terrace and saw that the animal was sitting near a wall. As the men approached the monkey with the ropes and nets, it ran to the other side of the terrace. Ten minutes later, the SPCA volunteers managed to get hold of the creature. It was later treated in the ambulance. After conducting a proper medical examination, it will be released into the wild. Thane Regional Forest Officer Anil Todarmal said, “I had informed the concerned official to address the complaint in the morning itself. The monkey has been successfully rescued and after a medical examination, it will be released back into its natural habitat.”