Many attempts by Karnataka’s Davangere district forest officials to rescue more than 20 monkeys marooned on a tree in the Tungabhadra river flood did not fructify, but most of them escaped as the river continues to be in spate, an official said on Friday.
“We have made many attempts to rescue the monkeys but they did not respond to our efforts. As monkeys, they are naturally scared of humans but finally somehow most of them have escaped from that area,” Davangere Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) Srinivas Murthy told IANS.
According to Murthy, more than 20 monkeys were taking refuge on the leafless tree but now only some five remain now.
He said the forest department is sure that none of the monkeys which escaped from the tree died as there was a constant watch on them by the department officials and villagers as well.
“People are also watching them continuously, they are safe,” he said about the incident which unfolded in Harihara taluk’s Rajanahalli village in Davangere district.
Murthy said the monkeys would have probably swum away to safety from the tree submerged by the flooding river’s muddy waters.
“We have also put some nets near the tree and we don’t suspect any monkey dying because they would have escaped in the night with the help of the net also,” he pointed out.
Forest department’s efforts were also augmented by the fire department which came with boats for the rescue of the monkeys, beginning its efforts from Thursday afternoon.
As the monkeys did not have food to eat, the forest officials went on boats and offered them food by tying fruits to the tree’s branches.
“We tied some fruits to the tree, some bananas. We hope they would have eaten those fruits,” said Murthy.
The monkeys perched themselves on the highest branches of the tree and stayed away from the rescuers when they approached them.
The forest officer said the tree and that place is the original habitat of the monkeys and suspected that some of the left over monkeys may also not be interested in coming out of that place.
Located some 10 metres away from the banks of the river, most of the tree is currently submerged in the flood.
“As the tree is away from the river’s waters, the monkeys would not have expected that the water will rise and submerge the tree, considering the flood occurred suddenly,” said Murthy.
As many as 14 forests officials worked in rescuing the monkeys on Thursday and eight of them on Friday.
“Finally, we believe that the operation is successful and nothing untoward would have happened, I’m sure,” he said.