This is not the usual revenge story you hear. Since September 16, 2021, a monkey in the Kottigehara village of Chikkamagalur district in Karnataka has become a dreadful villain in the life of Jagadish. A young monkey of the Bonnet Macaque species wandered around Kottigehara, snatching fruits and snacks from people as he went.
The people weren’t overly concerned since monkeys have that nature and were just cautious when they spotted him. When schools reopened, the monkey was spotted around the Morarji Desai School area and children were terrified of him. In response to a complaint, the forest department sent out a team to capture the monkey.
Nevertheless, catching this monkey was no easy task. They enlisted the aid of nearby auto drivers and other people around to chase the monkey in a particular direction so that they could trap him. The auto driver Jagadish, who was also with the forest department team, tried to divert the monkey in the other direction. He was suddenly attacked by the distressed monkey. It bit his hand and injured him deeply.
Jagadish fled from the area in an apparent state of shock and fear. Everywhere he went, the monkey chased him. As he hid inside his auto-rickshaw, it attacked the vehicle and tore the covering sheets off. This went on for a while. The monkey was captured after a tedious 3-hour operation involving more than 30 people. The Forest Department released it at the Balur forest, which is about 22 kilometers away.
‘I was terrified as hell. He followed me everywhere. My wounds took at least a month to heal after it bit me so hard. I can’t drive my auto-rickshaw, which is what I do for a living. Moreover, I didn’t go home that day for fear that the monkey would follow me. I have small children at home. What if it attacks them? I’m still very scared,’ Jagadish said.
Unfortunately, the story isn’t over yet. The people of Kottigehara were relieved to know the monkey was gone and were back to normal. And in less than a week, the monkey was back! Yes, the monkey managed to hop aboard a truck that passed through a road near the Balur forest and reached Kottigehara. When Jagadish heard it, he was terrified. ‘When I heard that the monkey was back in the village, I felt a chill run down my spine. I requested the forest department to rush immediately. I haven’t gone out of my hiding. It’s the same monkey because we all saw a mark on his ear last time, and my friend said that they noticed it,’ he said.
‘We don’t know why the monkey targeted one man. He may have harmed the animal previously or it could have just been an immediate reaction. However, this is the first time we have seen a monkey act this way though monkeys attacking humans is not unheard of,’ said Mohan Kumar BG, Range Forest Officer, Mudigere. His team carried out the monkey-trapping operation. On 22nd September, the forest department team caught the monkey for the second time. They have released him in a more remote forest area this time. Jagadish hopes the monkey won’t return. For his own safety, he will stay indoors for the next few days.