A baby was left fighting for his life in hospital after he was bitten on the skull by a vicious monkey.
Three-month-old Nong Muallim was in his cot drinking milk on Tuesday (November 14) when a troop of crab-eating macaques burst into the family home on Koh Mai Phai island, Thailand, and attempted to steal the beverage. His aunt Jiraporn Kalong, 37, had been at a village meeting and returned to hear blood-curdling screams coming from inside the house.
She ran inside and found one of the apes had sunk its teeth into the baby's head as others made a grab for the milk. Jiraporn raised the alarm among nearby relatives who helped to scare off the animals – but it was too late to stop little Muallim from being injured.
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The baby was left with six deep bite marks and a bleeding "open skull wound" from the onslaught. He was rushed to Phang Nga Hospital before quickly being transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital where he received emergency surgery.
The surgery is understood to have been successful and the baby is now being kept in a clean hospital without visitors. Jiraporn is looking out for Muallim's well-being while his parents work in Phuket. "It's a tragedy that my nephew has met with such misfortune," she said. "Now all I can do is pray for his safety."
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Koh Mai Phai has a growing problem with macaques with the population increasing rapidly. The local government chief said: "Wildlife officers have been deployed to survey the population of crab-eating macaques and the issues faced by locals.
"The macaques' behaviour has changed and they are no longer afraid of humans, often entering homes, particularly during low tide, as they retreat to the forest and mountains during high tide."
This is not the first attack of its kind in recent weeks. The Daily Star previously reported a 10-year-old boy was killed after a group of langur monkeys ripped his intestines out while he was playing with friends.
Dipak Thakor was rushed to hospital after being disembowelled but was declared dead on arrival. He was the third person in his village in Gujarat, India, to be attacked by the monkeys in a week.
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