Dailekh, July 9:

Three Rautes living in high mountain slopes bordering Dailekh and Kalikot districts died of diarrhoea.

The deceased are Kalghari Shahi, 23, Manasara Shahi, 31 and Hubal Shahi, 10.

Rautes, the minority tribe facing an extinction-threat, hunt even monkeys at times of food scarcity, a local Tekendra Shahi said, adding that the three had taken ill after they consumed a monkey-carcass.

Five days ago, two other Rautes — Surendra Bahadur Shahi and Rain Bahadur Shahi — died while they were hunting monkeys at Bhatgaun in Sigaudi VDC.

Rautes normally do not seek medical treatment and succumb even to curable diseases, a local health worker Shamsher Shahi said. With the recent five deaths, the Raute population fell to a total of 178 from 183.

Rautes, traditionally, move to a new place once someone in the community dies. “They might desert their present location,” a local said.