Orange Today
Thursday 25th July 2002

Monkey troop rescue their orphan from police station

Monkeys rescued an orphaned member of their troop from an Indian police station after its mother was shot dead.

The female langur was feeding on a tree when an orchard owner brought her down with an airgun in Murshidabad.

The man was arrested by police for shooting a protected species, but the baby wouldn't let go of its dead mother.

Police took the body to their station, where the baby continued to suckle its mother.

Officers allowed it to stay the night, but around 30 monkeys laid siege to the station - gathering outside and on the roof.

Officers were surprised when some monkeys managed to sneak into the station and quietly take the baby away with them.

Inspector Prabir Dutta told newspaper Pragati: "What we saw was absolutely touching. It was as if the monkeys had made up their minds to take charge of the orphan. One of the females in the group held it close to its chest and even offered its teats to be sucked.

"The monkeys behaved in an exemplary fashion and impressed us with their show of solidarity. Human beings have a lot to learn from them."

Later hundreds of local people carried the body of the monkey in a procession, chanting the name of Hindu monkey god Hanuman, before burying it on the banks of a river.

The orchard owner Syed Raza, who was released on bail, said: "I feel terrible. I had no intention of killing the monkey. I was just trying to scare it away from the trees and the gun went off."

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