A 13-year-old girl in northern India has died after she fell from a roof while being chased by monkeys, police said on Wednesday.
The teenager was reportedly collecting her drying clothes from the rooftop of her home in the city of Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh state, when a troop a monkeys attacked her.
Police told the Press Trust of India that the girl appears to have tried to flee when she slipped and fell from the rooftop. She was immediately taken to hospital, but doctors declared her dead on arrival.
This isn’t the first incident when conflict between humans and monkeys has proved fatal in India. The problem of monkeys straying into houses, sometimes biting and attacking humans is centuries old, as human habitation has encroached upon their traditional forest habitats.
In another incident in 2018, an infant boy died after he was snatched from his mother and bitten by a monkey, also in the state of Uttar Pradesh. In that same year, two tourists were also attacked and injured in Agra.
And in a viral video from UP’s Vrindavan last year, three monkeys were seen attacking a man while he tried entering his house, forcing him to the ground.
In March this year, the Indian parliament set aside funds worth 50 million rupees (£500,000) to control the increasing conflict between monkeys and humans in the national capital. Delhi recorded 950 cases of monkeys biting humans in 2018 alone, with even MPs and bureaucrats struggling to cope with disturbances from the simians.
According to the Indian Express, Delhi’s 5-year plan was to involve estimating the population of monkeys, understanding their behaviour and movement patterns by fitting them with radio-collars, identifying conflict hotspots, using scientific methods for sterilisation, and training forest and municipal staff in conflict management.
However the programme never got off the ground due to the imposition of a national coronavirus lockdown.