Mumbai: For the past four days, a pregnant, possibly rabies-infected monkey, with an infant in tow, has been inspiring fear among residents of Amar Nagar, Mulund. The locale is barely 200-metres from the spot where a leopard devoured a young girl last week.
Ramu Pawar, in whose house the monkey had entered, said, “She seems to have some kind of infection. She has been entering houses and sleeping on beds. Small kids are afraid of the monkey, as she might bite,” said Pawar. Pawar claims that he even sprayed his house with phenol, but that did not deter the monkey.
According to local resident Kanchan Sonawane, the monkey has been clambering over slums and rooftops, foraging in houses. “She has been trying to stay out of the rain and has sought shelter in houses and has slept on beds,” said Sonawane, a resident of Shankar Tekdi.
“The monkey has an infection which is emanating a bad odour. Everyone is afraid of coming in contact with her,” added Sonawane. When an NGO was called upon to confront the issue, they said they were helpless as they only had snake-catching equipment and had never dealt with monkeys.
According to Sonawane, after repeated calls, three constables from Hindustan Chowk police chowkie showed up at about 4.30 pm yesterday, along with Pawan Sharma, a volunteer with the Forest Department in Mulund. Sharma said, “The female appears to have a uterine infection and we are afraid of handling her. She may also have rabies. People here feed the monkeys and they have become tame. Since we don’t have our veterinarian on hand we haven’t been able to do much.”
“Sharma and the three policemen chased the monkey around for a while. When they cornered it in a house, they simply opened the windows and waited hopefully for her to leave. Later, they borrowed an empty drum from someone’s house and tried to coax the monkey to enter it, but to no avail,” said Sonawane.
When contacted, Satish Phale, forest officer from Thane, in whose jurisdiction Mulund falls, stated he was not aware about the incident. Residents, however, maintained that they had called the control room, only after which the police came and later Sharma was sent in from the forest department.