Shocked at the spectacle of a monkey being strangled and assaulted near a garage in Kurla, a Goregaon-resident recorded the incident on his camera; the horrifying video led to the animal’s rescue yesterday
More often than not, ‘beastly’ is a word more appropriate when applied to the actions of humans, than beasts themselves. A video of a defenseless monkey being tortured mercilessly in captivity illustrates this irony. Thankfully, the concern of a citizen who witnessed the torture, and the action taken by an animal NGO, resulted in the rescue of the animal from Kamani area of Kurla (West) yesterday.
While locals claim that the monkey had been tied to the tree for long and that auto drivers in the area would ‘play’ with it, a video shot by Goregaon resident Suraj Kumar gave evidence to the contrary. In course of their ‘play,’ two men are seen hitting the monkey, forcibly suspending it from the rope so it chokes, and assaulting it when it tries to save itself from hanging from the tree.
Bestial: Grabs from the video (above and below) recorded by Kumar show two men assault the money as it hangs from the tree by a rope tied around its neck; one of the tormentors can even be seen feeding bits of wire to the helpless animal, who tries to escape, but in the process falls from its perch and gets choked by the rope
Kumar, who witnessed the men tormenting the beast up close, claimed that they were feeding it bits of wire.
The pitiful drama unfolded before Kumar when he went to get his car repaired at Kamani garage in Kurla recently. Moved by the monkey’s desperate and helpless efforts to save itself, he decided to shoot a video of the assault as evidence. After giving the monkey some water to drink, he picked up his phone and called various rescuers. Following the intervention of an animal-rights NGO, the beast was rescued on Friday morning by Thane forest officials.
Kumar said, “The monkey was kept tied to a tree in the heat, and people were troubling it. I shot the video and called rescuers, so that they could release the monkey from captivity.” However, Kumar claims that he had to make several calls before an NGO finally showed concern.
In an attempt to find the owner of the monkey, mid-day went to the spot yesterday. Locals said the monkey belonged to the owner of an auto parts shop in the area. The man at the shop, however, claimed that the monkey belonged to his friend, but refused to divulge his name or number.
Asked why the monkey was being tormented, he said, “No one tortures the monkey – they play with it. There are many auto drivers who play with the monkey, and even feed him.” When mid-day showed him the video as proof of torture, he kept silent and called his friends over for support.
K P Singh, chief conservator of forest (CCF) of the Thane Forest Department, said, “The monkey was rescued by our Territorial range team from Kurla on Friday morning. The monkey is currently in our custody and the doctors will conduct a proper medical examination to see if it has any injuries. We will also evaluate if the monkey is wild or trained. If it is a trained monkey, we cannot release it into wild. In that case, it will be sent to a shelter home at Katraj Park in Pune.”
The Forest Department has also registered a complaint against the unidentified person who held the monkey in captivity, and is trying to trace him. A letter written to the forest department on April 26 by RAWW, a Mulund-based NGO, seems to have prompted the rescue.
Speaking to mid-day, Pawan Sharma, founder of RAWW, said, “Last month, we received several complaints regarding this monkey being chained to a tree. The concerned citizens who noticed the animal being abused were demanding action. Keeping a monkey in captivity is a violation of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.”
He added, “Rushil Bhatt, member of RAWW, checked the location and confirmed the presence of the monkey. He also reported that the area was not safe. So I wrote to the forest department to look into the matter and take necessary action to rescue the monkey.”
— With inputs from Ranjeet Jadhav