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Hanuman langur shot with an air rifle in Raigad

In a shocking case of animal cruelty, a Hanuman langur, or grey langur, was shot using an airgun by unidentified people in Raigad three days ago. An official from the Raigad Forest Department got the langur to Mumbai, to the clinic of Dr. Deepa Katyal in Mulund, for treatment, but due to injuries, he succumbed to cardiac failure. With such extreme cases of animal cruelty happening on a regular basis, animal welfare activists think that the concerned people should be apprehended and punished. Talking to mid-day, Dr. Katyal said, “On Makar Sankranti, we were busy dealing with the continuous flow of birds injured with the glass manja, but that day, we had to deal with an even worse example of human torture. An adult langur was brought in suffering from paraplegia and struggling to breathe.”

In order to understand the nature of the injuries, an X-ray was done and the results of the test shocked everyone as there were three air gun bullets in the body. “The X-ray showed three air bullets inside the langur’s body, two near the pelvis and one close to the right shoulder, missing a major blood vessel. The primate also showed dilated gas loops, indicating some sort of obstruction. One can only imagine the pain and discomfort he had gone through. Unfortunately, after all our efforts to revive his dropping blood pressure and heart rate due to multiple medical issues, a CPR got his heartbeat back, only to sink later into cardiac failure. This story reflects the need for prompt investigation for such crime and cruelty to our wildlife,” said Katyal.

However, she praised the efforts taken by beat guard Maulesh Tayade and forest guard Ashok Gore from Alibaug, who rushed the animal to the clinic as soon as they could. “It is due to the dedicated team in the forest department that such heinous cases of animal cruelty come to light, and I hope that the people responsible for injuring the langur face action,” she said.

Sumant Madhav, campaign manager, Humane Society International, said, “Conflict with various species of monkeys across the country has become a harsh reality owing to several anthropogenic factors. The forest department is often brought into the picture to ‘react’ to situations that occur. Often these reactive measures are done under pressure and not necessarily the right thing to do. What the department needs to do is take a stand to mitigate human-wildlife conflict proactively. This includes measures such as addressing and educating communities who have the potential of conflict on preparedness, adaptation measures and such. When conflict leads to loss of property/life or crops for marginal communities and they are not met with an apt response from the forest department, communities begin taking matters into their own hands and take their animosity out on the animals, who are easy targets.”

PETA India Lead Emergency Response Coordinator Meet Ashar said, “Such people must be booked and arrested immediately for ‘hunting’ under Sections 9, 39 and 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Also Section 429 IPC, 1860, along with sections 25 and 26 of the Arms Act. For possessing an air gun, one needs a license from the police department. I am sure these people didn’t have it. The department must act strongly to set a deterrent for others. Cruelty to animals should worry everyone. Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals often don’t stop there — many moves on to hurting humans. And the FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appear in its records of serial rapists and murderers.”

Date: 20 Jan 2019
Source: https://www.mid-day.com/articles/hanuman-langur-shot-with-an-air-rifle-in-raigad/405532