Macaque kills newborn in Malaysia

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

A newborn baby girl in Malaysia has died after a macaque took her from her home, mauled her, and then dropped her off a rooftop.

Crab-eating Macaque (Macaca fascicularis)
Image: Muhammad Mahdi Karim.

According to reports, the young girl was asleep in the living room of her home when the monkey seized her, carried her to the rooftop, and bit her face and neck before discarding her.

After discovering the infant was missing, her family searched their home until they found her body outside the house.

The baby died when it fell to the ground.

—Ishak Muhamad

State wildlife and national parks director Ishak Muhamad suggested that the macaque was probably scavenging for food and snatched the baby for this reason. Muhamad confirmed that the monkey responsible was tracked down and killed.

"The baby died when it fell to the ground. The monkey had apparently released the newborn, probably because it was alarmed by the parents' shouts", he stated.

Sources say the newborn died en route to hospital.

According to assistant wildlife official Mohd Zafifi Ramli, macaques in Malaysia are moving into urban areas due to population pressure and shrinking natural habitats, and because people in urban areas feed them.