Plea to Pakistan to look after 'arrested' monkey

File photo of Indian monkey Campaigners say animals do not recognise human boundaries

An animal rights group in India has requested Pakistan's top envoy to look into the welfare of a monkey who crossed the border recently.

The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) says in its letter that "animals do not recognise boundaries marked by humans".

The "trespassing" simian was captured by wildlife officials on 5 December and lodged in a zoo in Bahawalpur.

Pakistani media reports said the monkey had been named "Bobby".

He is lodged along with a Pakistani monkey, Raju, and has become a hit with visitors.

"Captivity is cruel for animals meant to roam free," FIAPO convenor Arpan Sharma wrote in his letter to High Commissioner Shahid Malik.

"On behalf of all our member organisations and thousands of supporters we urge you to kindly rehabilitate any trespassing animals in their natural environment and not in the pitiable prisons-zoo."

Mr Sharma requested Ms Malik to "consider our request and look at this issue beyond human territories defined and marked by humans".

"Let the monkey be a messenger of peace and freedom and not of captivity and confinement," he said.

The report about the "trespassing" monkey first appeared in Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper last week.

It said this was not the first case of cross-border animal arrest - last year, police in India's Punjab state has "arrested" a pigeon after it was caught allegedly "spying" for Pakistan.

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