Monkeys being poisoned in Bangladesh to clear encroached forest land for cultivation

Villagers in one of Bangladesh’s districts are killing monkeys in the Cox Bazaar forest area to clear the land they have allegedly encroached upon for cultivation, environment activists alleged

Oct 14, 2021
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Monkeys being poisoned in Bangladesh

Villagers in one of Bangladesh’s districts are killing monkeys in the Cox Bazaar forest area to clear the land they have allegedly encroached upon for cultivation, environment activists alleged. Authorities have initiated an inquiry into the cases. 

The incident came to light when dozens of monkeys were found dead on Tuesday this week in Moheskhali sub-district in the Cox Bazaar area. Environment activists alleged that monkeys were killed deliberately by using poisoned bananas as a trap, according to a report in The Daily Star newspaper. 

The area, a part of the forested land, had been encroached upon by local villagers over the past few months. The motive of the killings is to clear the land of any animals which can harm their crops. 

Upon receiving the complaint, forest officials visited the spot and found proof that the monkeys, belonging to the rhesus macaque species, had been poisoned. Dinar Alam, an environment activist who had informed the authority about the incident, said he had counted around 50 bodies. 

He, however, added many more bodies might have been buried. Forest officials often ignore such incidents, he alleged, saying they don’t usually want to create animosity with locals in the areas. 

“We found a total of three monkeys 500 yards away from where the killing took place. Bananas laced with toxins were found around the field,” Abhijit Kumar Barua, range officer of the region, was quoted as saying by The Daily Star.

“A troop of monkeys came out from the nearby forest and died within hours of consuming the fruit,” he confirmed. 

There have been growing instances of the forest land being encroached upon by influential locals in the region. And, these grabbers often attack officials when go there to clear the area. One of the officials was even killed a few days, Abhijit Barua said. 

(SAM)