Fifteen monkeys killed each other while fighting over scarce water during a heatwave in India, where temperatures have reached 122 degrees.
Their carcasses were found around a group of forest caves in Madhya Pradesh after a nearby river dried up, Indian news site NDTV reported.
Autopsies carried out on the monkey corpses found that some may have died of heatstroke after being chased away from watering holes by larger competitors.
District forest officer PN Mishra told NDTV that the river had been a water source to six separate groups of monkeys.
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“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- to 35-strong group of monkeys living in the caves,” he said.
He added that the monkeys were herbivores and that it was rare for herbivores to engage in such conflicts.
Temperatures have soared in India over the last month, and 17 people are so far to have died from sunstroke.
Water has had to be poured on the roads to keep them from melting, while farmers have been without enough water for their crops and livestock.
A 33-year-old man was beaten to death after confronting a group who were drawing large amounts of water from a public tap in the city of Thanjavur, in Tamil Nadu, the Times of India reported.