Over 200 puppies have been massacred in the Indian village of Lavool in alleged "revenge" killings, after the dogs supposedly killed an infant monkey previously. Two simians were found within the village to be capturing the puppies and taking them to high places, where they would either starve or fall to their deaths. The perpetrators have since been captured and relocated, India's ANI news reports.
While media outlets have reported the monkeys were killing in retaliation for the death of an infant, locals have stated that there has been no such death in the last few months, reports News18. The number of puppies dead has also been disputed, with a local resident suggesting upwards of 200, while a local ranger states only three to four puppies have actually been killed. Regardless, the monkeys were certainly acting out of character, with even people being injured whilst running from them. One 8-year-old schoolchild was among those injured.
"Monkeys generally don't attack human beings but people are afraid. Some people were injured in the past few days while running away from these monkeys. However, no incident of any monkey bite was reported in this village,” said Range Forest Officer Amol Munde, to national media outlet PTI.
Stealing puppies is not a rare act for these monkeys – in the area, monkeys have been known to kidnap the pups and take them to high places, where they live, to "take care of them". Unfortunately for the dogs, monkeys are terrible owners and do not understand the food and drink requirements of their new pets, who either starve or try to escape, falling to the ground.
“Such incidents had been happening over the last three months. These two monkeys come to our village. They take away puppies with them to the roof of houses or at any other place at height,” said villager Radhakishan Sonawane.
“At such height, these puppies don’t get any food or water. Hence they died naturally many times. But sometimes they fell from a height and died. Over 200 puppies had lost their lives in our village,"
Images and videos have since emerged of the gruesome attacks, in which the monkeys snatch small dogs and whisk them away up high. According to locals, the primate purge has now killed almost every dog in the village, with owners devastated at the losses.
Talking to Gizmodo last year, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at SUNY Buffalo, Stephanie Poindexter, stated that primates are capable of exacting revenge, and are more likely to target animals that resemble the image of their attacker.
“Obviously we can’t know their intent, because we can’t ask them what they were planning to do or why they did it. But in studies of primates in captivity, in social groups in zoos, we’ve seen that when an individual is attacked in some way, the likelihood of them attacking someone related to their aggressor is higher,” said Poindexter.