Scarcity of food in their natural habitats has prompted monkeys to venture out to localities in many areas of Bangladesh.
In some areas, people have opted to feed both stray and wild animals during the pandemic, but in Maddya-Khagdi area of Madaripur, unidentified people reportedly poisoned nearly 15 monkeys to death as of yesterday evening.
Four of the bodies will be autopsied at the Madaripur Livestock Hospital to determine the cause of death, said Kamrul Islam Miah, officer-in-charge of Madaripur Sadar Police Station.
The miscreants may have done it because they considered the monkeys to be a nuisance, reports our Faridpur correspondent quoting few local youths in the area.
"On information, we visited the area and filed a case in this regard yesterday," Tapas Kumar Sengupta, forest officer of the district, told The Daily Star.
Anyone found involved in this heinous crime will be punished, the forest official said.
The monkeys were buried beside a canal in the area by some locals who also demanded the perpetrators be punished.
Photos of the poisoning and eventual death were heavily shared on Facebook as well.
Ward number 8 and 9 of Madaripur municipality is said to have a population of about 2,500 monkeys, sources at the local forest department told The Daily Star correspondent.
Until last week, forest department officials provided food to the monkeys but when the feeding programme ended many starving monkeys started to venture out near human settlements in search of food.
"When we saw so many monkeys in distress, we tried to give them water. But not all of them responded and 15 of them died," said Yasin, a local of Maddya-Khagdi area.
The locals have also said they called the forest department and municipality authorities, but they were late in arriving.