A Nepalese man has shot and killed his 12 year old son, mistaking him for one of the monkeys he was trying to drive away from his crops.

Monkeys are a menace to the man’s maize and his son was helping him by climbing a nearby tree when Gupta Bahadur, 55, spotted movement and opened fire. He did not realise his son had been in the tree.

AFP quotes Arun Poudel, deputy superintendent of police in the remote Arghakhanchi district as saying, “The son was hiding in a tree at their farm to chase away monkeys that used to come searching for food in the maize field.” Guns are often used as a deterrent but farmers rarely shot to kill, as the creatures are thought to be sacred in Nepal.