Viral Video and PETA Pressure Lead to Alleged Monkey Kidnappers’ Arrest

For Immediate Release:
1 July 2015

Nikunj Sharma; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Rescued Monkey Is Under Care While Four Accused Culprits Are in Judicial Remand

Mumbai – The five alleged culprits who were secretly filmed kidnapping a monkey last week from Varandha Ghat (outside Pune) in Maharashtra were caught yesterday evening by forest officials in Bhor, Maharashtra, after spending 10 days on the run. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India had reported the crime to the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, and the Maharashtra Forest Department subsequently registered a Preliminary Offence Report regarding the matter. Since then, PETA has been in constant contact with the police and forest officials. All four of the accused appeared in front of the Bhor Taluka Court and were sent to jail on a 24-hour judicial remand. The traumatized monkey is now under the care of forest authorities, and PETA is calling for the animal to be returned to Varandha Ghat. According to forest officials, the court will hear the matter today.

The incident came to light when a video went viral on social media showing men capturing a monkey in front of the animal’s helpless family members and placing him or her inside a Hyundai i20, the license plate of which was from Maharashtra and largely visible. PETA hopes authorities will determine whether these men were part of a larger wildlife crime racket.

“This terrified monkey has already suffered greatly from the trauma of being stolen from family members and needs to be re-united with them immediately”, says PETA campaign strategist Nikunj Sharma. “PETA commends the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and the Maharashtra Forest Department for quickly stepping into action, nabbing the alleged culprits and rescuing the monkey.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – points out that capturing a monkey is illegal under The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

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