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22 April 2024

Baby snatched by monkey dies in Taj Mahal city

The Indian father (3rd R, in red) of a young girl who was killed by a macaques monkey sits with relatives at their family home in Agra. (AFP)


A baby died after a monkey snatched it from its mother's arms, Indian police investigating the incident in the city of Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, said on Thursday.

The 12-day-old boy was being fed by his mother when a rhesus macaque monkey broke into the room late Monday, local deputy police chief Prashant Verma told AFP.

The monkey grabbed the infant and jumped away along several rooftops in a crammed district of the global tourist hotspot, he said.

Locals chased the monkey down after the mother raised the alarm, forcing the animal to abandon the baby's body on top of a building.

Verma said the infant was declared dead on arrival at hospital but the family refused to allow a postmortem and the cause of death - whether from a fall, bite or something else - could not be ascertained.

India has an estimated monkey population of 50 million and roughly 10,000 are believed to roam Agra, stealing goods, bothering residents and breaking into properties.

Incidents of attacks by macaques - a species with reddish-pink faces common across India - are frequent in the city.

Last week a girl was grievously injured in Agra in a ferocious attack by monkeys.

In May, two French tourists were injured by monkeys as they took selfies at the Taj Mahal.

Nationwide figures are not available but nearly 1,900 people were bitten by monkeys in the capital New Delhi in 2016, government figures show.

A former Delhi mayor was killed after falling from the balcony of his house when he was attacked by monkeys in 2007.