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Monkey Snatches Infant From Indian Village

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A two-week-old infant was allegedly snatched by a monkey in Cuttack, Odisha, in India. In this photo, a monkey looks into the mirror of a motorbike near a temple in Jaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan, Dec. 16, 2016. Photo: Getty Images/ DOMINIQUE FAGET

By Pritha Paul, International Business Times

A two-week-old infant was allegedly snatched by a monkey in Cuttack, Odisha, in India on Saturday. After a 24-hour-long search by the authorities, the lifeless remains of the child was located inside a well near his house.

The incident took place around 6 a.m. local time (8:30 p.m. EDT Friday) when he was sleeping beside his mother in his Talabasta village home.

[post_ads]“The monkey took the baby from inside a mosquito net. It [the monkey] was spotted by Sarojini [the child’s mother], who immediately had raised an alarm, but the creature jumped over the roof and disappeared from her view,” child's aunt Rajnandini Nayak told reporters, according to news daily Indian Express

Law enforcement was alerted and the forest department and fire services personnel rushed to the scene, where they immediately launched a massive search and rescue mission, with the help of the villagers, by combing the nearby forest for the missing child.

Three teams — which included 30 forest personnel — led by Sangram Keshari Mohanty, the ranger of the Damapada Forest Range, faced a difficult time locating the primate or the baby due to a particular complication.

"As the child has trouble crying, we cannot hear his voice. It has, therefore, become difficult for us to trace him in the forest,” said one of the forest officials involved in the search, Business Standard reported.

Because of his inability to cry since birth, the baby was admitted to a pediatrics hospital and had come home just three days before the incident occurred.
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During the search, forest officials checked the house and the surrounding neighborhood, including the well where the body was later discovered Sunday, and found nothing.

The body was later seen by the child's aunt first in the well. As the police investigate how the body ended up in the well — which usually remains covered — the infant's father, Ramakrushna Nayak, guessed “the baby may have slipped from the monkey’s grip.”
The father’s thoughts were echoed by the police.

“Most probably, the monkey had dropped off the baby in the well soon after it took off,” said Biswaranjan Sahoo, inspector of Banki police station, daily newspaper Hindustan Times reported. “The body has now been sent to a local hospital for post-mortem.”
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According to BBC, a doctor who was part of the autopsy said there were no injury marks on his body and "it appears to be a case of asphyxia due to drowning." 

The police are yet to capture the rogue monkey who reportedly stole the baby. The authorities could not even zero in on the particular species of the animal — which could be either a Grey Langur (black-faced monkey with light brown fur) or Rhesus Macaque (reddish-pink face with auburn or dusty-brown fur), both of which are commonly found in Odisha.

Nayak, the kid’s father laid splayed in a prostrate position since Saturday as he prayed for the safety of his child before a local goddess. The family was overwhelmed with grief after they were told the 15-day-old member of household was dead.

There were a number of instances in the past weeks where monkeys had attacked people of the village. The locals complained the forest department took little action to address the matter and ensure the safety of the villagers.

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