A Spanish tourist was attacked and bitten by monkeys while she was taking pictures at the Taj Mahal on Monday amid increasing incidents of simian attacks on tourists within the premises of the world heritage site.
A video circulating on social media shows the tourist in tears while others try to bandage the wounds on her leg. The woman, identified as Sandra, was later admitted to a local hospital, as per a report in India Today.
Prince Vajpayee, Conservation Assistant of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at the Taj Mahal, said the woman tourist was attacked when she was taking a picture of a monkey. She was given first aid and referred to the nearest private hospital for further treatment.
“In the past days, the monkey attacks on tourists have increased. In fact, it has become a common scene on the monument premises. Those who are aware or injured complain at the ASI office, while others leave without filing any complaint,” Sumit Solanki, a local photographer working at the site, claimed.
Raj Kumar Patel, Superintending Archaeologist at Taj Mahal said they have apprised the civic authorities of the problem and also deployed a dedicated team of ASI staff to protect tourists from monkeys.
“We have informed the Agra Nagar Nigam and local administration about the menace of the monkeys on the Taj Mahal premises,” he said.
Solanki said a tourist from Tamil Nadu was bitten by a monkey on September 11 and a day later, a woman tourist from Sweden was also attacked.
“After that, on September 14 two women from abroad were also attacked and today it was the tourist from Spain,” he said.
Patel said that the major cause of monkey bites is when tourists get too close to the simians to take pictures or selfies.
“A large number of monkeys usually roam in the area. People even leave food for them outside the Taj Mahal premises,” a local said.
On the availability of medical facilities for the tourists at the site, Patel said, “We have a basic facility of first aid for the tourists. After that tourists are referred to the nearest private or government hospitals for further treatment. Two ambulances are also deployed outside the Taj Mahal premises.”(With inputs from PTI)