A group of monkeys in small town in India have killed close to 250 dogs by throwing them off high buildings and trees, according to local reports. It is believed the attack was to avenge the killing of a baby monkey by a pack of dogs.
The town of Lavool, with a population of 5,000, is about 300 miles east of Mumbai was the site of the fatal face-off among the animals.
According to News 18, since the killing of the infant monkey last month, the monkeys have been snatching dogs as soon as they spot them.
They would then drag them to the top of trees and buildings, where they either drop the pups to their deaths, or leave them to die. The media outlet said that nearly every dog in the town had been killed in the revenge attack.
Researchers who study animal behaviour say primates are capable of revenge.
Stephanie Poindexter, an assistant professor at SUNY Buffalo, whose research focuses on primate behavioural ecology. She said:
In studies of primates in captivity, in social groups in zoos, we've seen that when an individual is attacked in some way, the likelihood of them attacking someone related to their aggressor is higher. For the most part, these acts of ‘revenge’ take place shortly after the attack—I haven’t seen anything where a primate spends an extended period of time plotting revenge on his enemies.
State of panic
It is being reported that officials of a local forest department, who were called by the locals to capture the monkeys, are yet to show up. Locals tried fruitlessly to capture the vengeful monkeys, leaving some people injured.
There are growing concerns as the primates have started attacking children, plunging the town into a state of panic.
Poindexter’s explanation of the vengeful tendencies of primates could offer some insight into why children are being targeted.
Typically, there’s a preference for attacking a third party associated with the original aggressor, as opposed to the actual aggressor.