Macaque killed by canines at Gandhi Nagar, ‘orphaned’ infant with farmer

Report by: 
6 Mar 2018

Growing encounters between humans and monkeys in Great Nicobar claimed one crab-eating macaque on Monday. According to reports, a group of macaques invaded a farmer’s field at 10 am in Gandhi Nagar on Monday when villagers rushed their  trained dogs to drive them into the forests. During the process, the canines killed a macaque, while her newborn infant was left deserted at the spot. Villagers rushed to the rescue of the infant and one family took the responsibility to nurture it. According to sources, the farmer identified as Rafique has named the three month old infant as ‘Bansi’.
The endemic species, called the crab-eating macaques, has become habituated to raid crops, coconut trees and betel nut plantations. Coconut and Arecanut plantation, being the most important commercial plantations in the island, increasing incursions by the Monkeys has led to rising human-macaque conflicts in many parts of Great Nicobar, particularly along reserves bordering human habitation. Villagers use dogs to ward away macaques to protect their produce and the confrontation has also increased the threat of disease transmission and potential loss of individual macaques owing to the conflict.
The Nicobar long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis umbrosa, popularly known as the Nicobar monkey) is a subspecies of the crab-eating macaque (M. fascicularis), endemic to the Nicobar Islands. The primate is found on three of the Nicobar Islands—Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar and Katchal—in biome regions consisting of tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests. Populations of this subspecies are particularly noted in the Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve, and its two constituent National parks of India, Campbell Bay National Park and Galathea National Park and the animal is classified as a Schedule I animal under India's 1972 Wildlife (Protection) Act as also categorized as Vulnerable on the Red List of the IUCN.