Monkeys come to aid of injured companion

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 August, 2005, 12:00am

A group of monkeys pulled their injured companion off a country road yesterday in an apparent act of compassion witnessed by a motorcyclist who knocked the animal down.

The act of animal courage was played out on Tai Po Road at about 8.15 am, police said, when the motorcyclist, a 45-year-old woman, was heading towards Kowloon. The accident happened near Villa Carlton.

'The motorcyclist told us that she saw the injured monkey being taken off the road by other monkeys,' a police spokeswoman said.

The animal was pulled into undergrowth by the road. A dead monkey was later found nearby.

The motorcyclist was thrown off her bike and sustained injuries to her right waist and right elbow. She was taken to the Caritas Medical Centre for treatment.

Wetland and fauna conservation officer Wong Che-lok, of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, said each year about 20 monkeys were killed in traffic accidents.

He added that monkeys live in tight-knit groups and would help take wounded or killed companions, regardless of their status in the group, away from danger.

'Often when we call in colleagues from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department to pick up dead monkeys we find in the wild, the workers are not be able to find them as the bodies have already been taken away by fellow monkeys,' said Mr Wong.

There are about 1,200 wild monkeys in Hong Kong.