If you don’t want to ruin your holiday season cheer, you may want to skip this story. This isn’t going to make anyone happy.
Some of us might think that seeking cruel and unusual revenge is an exclusively human trait. But it turns out that animals are capable of brutal, vengeful rage as well.
In India, a troop of monkeys has subjected a village’s dog population to a full-blown war crime. Not only that, the murderous primates are targeting the most vulnerable dogs of all — the puppies.
Over their month-long killing spree in the Beed District of central India, the monkeys have slaughtered hundreds on puppies. They’ve killed more than 250 juvenile dogs in the areas surrounding the city of Majalgaon.
The village of Lavool, some six miles from Majalgaon with a population of 5,000, seems to be the center of the monkeys’ terror. According to local news channel News18, the isn’t a single dog left alive in the village.
According to the villagers, the monkeys’ actions began as perhaps justified retaliation. About a month ago, a group of dogs from Lavool attacked and killed a baby monkey.
The grief-stricken monkey troop decided to bring the dogs to justice. However, they weren’t about to settle on just an eye for an eye.
It appears that the original group of monkeys has also enlisted others in their murderous rampage. And it’s not enough for them to just quickly bludgeon the puppies to death.
Oh no, they want these dogs to suffer.
The locals report that the majority of the attacks has followed a similar, cruel pattern. As soon as the monkeys spot a puppy, they will rush in to grab it.
Then, the monkeys will drag the helpless puppy along as they climb to some high place, like the top of a tree or the roof of a building. Once there, they simply let go and allow gravity to finish the dirty deed.
After they ran out of puppies, the monkeys moved onto any dogs they were able to pick up. Over the past month, they’ve practically depopulated Lavool of dogs.
The Lavool villagers, of course, weren’t just standing around while the monkeys enacted their ruthless canine-cide. First the villagers tried to do things by the book and contacted the local wildlife officials.
However, catching an enraged monkey is clearly something that’s easier said than done. Despite their best efforts, the animal control authorities weren’t able to catch a single monkey.
Let down by the authorities, the circle of vengeance kept rolling along and the villagers took matters to their own hands. Unfortunately, they haven’t fared much better.
But the villagers’ attempts to stop the monkeys only managed to fuel their fury. The primates began attacking the men trying to catch them.
According to reports, several people have fallen from buildings or been otherwise injured while trying to subdue the monkeys. But that’s not the worst of it.
The monkeys were initially spurred to murder by the dogs attacking them. How do you think they reacted when humans began to do the same?
Monkey see, monkey do. They have now started attacking human children.
The villagers say that the monkeys have descended upon several children on their way to school. Although there haven’t been any human casualties yet, the villagers are understandably really starting to panic.
Just Like Little Humans
But is it really possible for animals to go on a genocidal rampage of vengeance? Or is there something else at play here?
According to animal behavior experts, it’s perfectly likely that the monkeys’ violence is fueled by nothing but good old vengeance. Vladimir Dinets, an adjunct lecturer of zoology at Kean University said animals are perfectly capable of revenge.
“Chimps do it, for example. Macaques do it, too … Also, there are many documented cases of wounded animals chasing or ambushing their hunters in situations when it would be obviously more reasonable for those animals to run away or hide,” Dinets told Gizmodo.
However, he added that animals don’t feel any necessity to play fair with revenge. If the target of their fury is too strong for the vengeful animal to face head-on, they will instead attacks a weaker associated party — like its babies.
The reason why exactly animals partake in vengeance is unclear, though.
“In humans, revenge is usually an irrational manifestation of our innate desire for justice, which is also observed in many other primates and has evolved to enable social cooperation. We always want to reward altruistic behavior in others and punish them for excessive selfishness,” he explained.