'Rare and strange': Clash over water kills 15 monkeys in India during brutal heatwave

'Rare and strange': Clash over water kills 15 monkeys in India during brutal heatwave
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This is rare and strange as herbivores don’t indulge in such conflicts — District, Madhya Pradesh, forest officer PN Mishra.

Around 15 primates may have died after clashing over water in 45C temperatures in India, according to reports.

The previously unheard of behavior occurred during the current heatwave in central India. The heatwave has caused serious water shortages to rivers and lakes in many parts of India.

NDTV reports:

Bhopal: The scarcity of water in the season of searing heat has spilled over from the concrete jungles to the forests of Madhya Pradesh. A battle over water is likely one of the reasons behind the death of more than a dozen monkeys, according to forest officials.

A boy from a village in Madhya Pradesh's Dewas along the Punjapura Joshi Baba forest range in Bagli had gone to the forest to graze goats when he saw the dead monkeys. He later informed his fellow villagers, who in turn contacted the officers of the forest department.

A team lead by District Forest Officer PN Mishra reached the spot, located 65 km from the Dewas district headquarters, and launched a probe to investigate all possibilities, including that of a battle between rival groups of monkeys over water.

The incident comes at a time when temperatures in the region during the day have touched the 45-degree mark.

While nine monkeys were found dead inside caves and outside of them too on Thursday, six more monkey carcasses were found on Friday.

"We're probing all possibilities, including the possibility of conflict between groups of monkeys for water in the forest which led to the death of 15 monkeys from a 30-35-strong group of monkeys living in the caves," the district forest officer said.

Seventeen people have died from the heat as well. Forty percent of India’s land mass is in severe drought. Violence and war are one of the predicted impacts in our rapidly heating world.

I don’t know about you, but I have become scared of what we are seeing with climate impacts lately. Our reckless experiment on our biosphere promises an increasingly ugly and violent world.

From the Weather Channel:

red alert severe heat wave warning, the highest warning level, has been posted by the IMD for several northern Indian states. This means the severe heat wave is likely to persist for more than two days, and the total number of heat wave or severe heat wave days is likely to exceed six days.

The IMD says all age groups have a very high likelihood of developing heat illness and heat stroke and suggests extreme care is needed for vulnerable people.

Rivers and lakes in the region have begun to dry up, raising concerns of water shortages in several major cities, including Chennai, according to Phys.org. Some people stopped washing their clothes in order to conserve water during this shortage.

It's not just the heat at fault. The annual South Asia monsoon, which typically restores India's water supplies by bringing much-needed rain to the country each summer, is off to a near-record slow start.

India is experiencing its second-driest pre-monsoon spell since 1954, the Times of India reported. The three-month period from March through May makes up the pre-monsoon season.

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