Hyderabad: A wildlife photography enthusiast from Hyderabad, who recently visited the Pakhal wildlife sanctuary in Warangal, was in for a shock when a local offered to sell him a rhesus macaque infant in a plastic packet.
The common rhesus macaque is protected under Schedule-II of the Wildlife Protection Act and keeping one captive is an offence punishable by imprisonment or fine.
Mr Gaurav Shukla, who had visited Pakhal lake on Sunday, said, “More shocking than finding an infant monkey being cruelly carried in a plastic cover, was that the person had no fear of forest department officials. When I warned him that I would complain to the forest officials if he did not free the animal where he had trapped it, he was undeterred. He told me that the forest officials knew about it and selling infant monkeys was not new.”
He added, “I went to the forest department check post close to the sanctuary and complained to the officials but no immediate action was taken. When I complained over phone to the police, they laughed it off.”
A wildlife activist from Hyderabad said, “While trapping rhesus macaques is not common, bonnet macaque infants are often caught and sold as pets. Many small animals and birds from forests are caught either for meat or for keeping as pets. In Hyderabad one can find shops selling parrots, munias, sparrows, birds of prey, owls for conducting black magic rituals and even crows for religious purposes. Trapping or killing these birds is an offence.”