Endangered primate rescued after straying into town in central Vietnam

By Vo Thanh   August 14, 2017 | 07:29 pm PT
A local spotted the 'Queen of primates' being chased into his garden by dogs.

Forest rangers in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue have rescued an endangered red-shanked douc langur after locals caught the animal entering a residential area.

Nguyen Quang, a resident of Lang Co Town, captured the douc langur after he saw it being chased into his garden by dogs on Sunday afternoon.

Local forest rangers quickly arrived at the scene and Quang handed the endangered primate over to them.


The red-shanked douc langur captured by Quang. Photo courtesy of Voice of Vietnam

The douc langur was found to be a young, healthy male weighing about 6.5 kilograms (14 pounds), according to VietnamPlus. However, Voice of Vietnam (VOV) claimed the animal had an injured leg.

Phu Loc District's forest rangers on Monday afternoon transferred the douc to the Endangered Primate Rescue Center (EPRC) at Cuc Phuong National Park in the northern province of Ninh Binh, VietnamPlus reported.

The red-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus) is sometimes called the “costumed ape” or the “Queen of primates” due to its amazing colors: maroon-red from its knees to ankles, white forearms, black hands and feet, a golden face with a white ruff, blue eyelids and a white tail.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the species as endangered and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora prohibits its international trade. Vietnam, which is a CITES signatory, also has laws to protect the primate but they have been difficult to enforce.

In November last year, Thua Thien-Hue authorities spotted a troupe of more than 70 red-shanked douc langurs in a protective forest in the province.

The animals were suspected to have migrated from the Son Tra Peninsula, around 66 kilometers (41 miles) to the southeast in neighboring Da Nang. Around 75 red-shanked douc langurs disappeared from the peninsula after illegal logging destroyed 1,000 square meters (93 square feet) of habitat.

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