As many as 36 monkeys were found killed at Chowdanahalli village in Karnataka’s Hassan district during the early hours of Thursday, forest officials said.
Hassan deputy conservator of forests (DCF) K N Basavaraj told Indianexpress.com that the bodies, found inside gunny sacks, were identified to be of the Bonnet macaque species, common in south India. “The bodies were found in Belur outside the forest area. With the area having reported no monkey menace at all, it looks possible that they might have been brought (by miscreants) from the adjoining Sakleshpur taluk, or Chikkamagaluru district,” he said.
He added that the officials have suspected “malicious poisoning” and “physical injury” as the cause of death after a preliminary probe. “A detailed investigation is underway to nab the culprits behind this issue,” the DCF said.
The carcasses recovered from the roadside of the village in Kogilamane gram panchayat in Belur taluk were later taken for a postmortem to ascertain the cause of death.
Further, forest officials have confirmed that a complaint has been filed under relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act. “This will be handed over to the JFMC (Judicial Magistrate of First Class) after which permission will be sought to carry forward the investigation,” another official said.