Coronavirus Lockdown: Security guards feed starving monkeys at Daulatabad Fort

Updated: Jun 03, 2020, 11:38 IST | PTI | Mumbai

The Daulatabad Fort, a popular tourist place spread in an area of 300 acres in Aurangabad, is home to nearly 150 primates.

One of the monkeys seen in a residential building at Cuffe Parade two days back
One of the monkeys seen in a residential building at Cuffe Parade two days back

Amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, some security guards of the Daulatabad Fort here in Maharashtra have taken the initiative of providing food to nearly 150 monkeys starving in the fort premises.

The Daulatabad Fort, a popular tourist place spread in an area of 300 acres in Aurangabad, is home to nearly 150 primates. On normal days, the monkeys used to survive on the food left over by visitors, but since the lockdown was enforced in March, the fort has remained shut and no tourists are allowed there, leaving the apes deprived of food. Seeing their plight, a group of men guarding the fort decided to feed the starving animals.

After a couple of days of the lockdown, while we were having lunch in the fort premises, a number of monkeys came near us and tried to snatch our food. I then decided to do something for them," the fort's security guard, Mahendra Joshi, told PTI. Joshi, a resident of nearby Khultabad town, discussed the issue with his neighbours and they all found a solution. "A grocer, Murlidhar Pawar, from my town arranged some cartons of biscuits and kilos of groundnuts which we offered to the monkeys," he said.

Later, a tehsildar (revenue officer) also sent some biscuit boxes, he said. Besides, one Bharti Saoji, a resident of Khutlabad, supplied 200 chapatis for 20 days, while some other locals arranged hundreds of bananas, he said. While going for duty, Joshi every day happily carries food for the monkeys. Talking to PTI, Archaeological Survey of India monument in-charge Sanjay Rohankar appreciated the gesture of Joshi and other security guards deployed at the fort. "Since tourists are not allowed inside the fort due to the lockdown, the monkeys were starving, but our guards came to their rescue," he said.

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