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In the midst of escalating tensions associated with yellow fever, more than 200 monkeys were killed by people in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. According to authorities, most of these monkeys were beaten to death, while some others were poisoned. Local residents in the Brazilian city believe that monkeys are responsible for spreading yellow fever, and this misconception has compelled them to take this cruel step.

The sanitation service in Rio de Janeiro confirmed that 238 bodies of monkeys were discovered since January 2018, compared to 602 in all of 2017. As the number of monkey killings is increasing day by day, the Rio de Janeiro's Mayor office has set up a hotline number to report monkey corpses.Similar incidents of monkey killing have been reported in Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais states too.

According to reports, authorities are now planning to conduct various campaigns in Brazil to make the public aware that monkeys are not responsible for spreading yellow fever in the nation. The authorities also made it clear that mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting yellow fever, and monkeys are just their victims.

"People should understand that it's the mosquito transmitting the yellow fever virus. The monkey is a victim and if there are no more monkeys in the countryside, then mosquitoes will come to attack people. Monkeys serve as sentinels they show us where the virus has gone. To have a more effective vaccination campaign, we have to identify the zones where monkeys are dying from yellow fever. When people kill them, the virus is harder to trace," said Fabiana Lucena, the coordinator of the Rio Veterinary Centre, AFP reports.

Out of the 238 monkeys killed 160 showed signs of human aggression. Most of the monkeys were badly beaten, and their bodies contained blood tinged marks. Last year, out of the 602 monkeys killed, only 240 were proved to be killed by humans.