Five men jailed for killing endangered langurs in national park

By Minh Minh   June 26, 2019 | 04:26 pm GMT+7
Five men jailed for killing endangered langurs in national park
The five langur poachers appear at the court in Nghe An Province in central Vietnam on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Forestry, Science and Technology Association.

A court in Nghe An Province in central Vietnam sentenced five men to prison on Tuesday for hunting and killing two endangered langurs.

Lo Van Hang was sentenced to four years while Vieng Van Thuy received three years. Vieng Van Sinh got 30 months, and Lo Van Hau and Vi Van Hai got 24 months each for the charge of "violating regulations on management and protection of endangered, precious and rare animals."

According to the indictment, the men planned on hunting langurs in the Pu Mat National Park in the province in January this year. They had agreed that if they were able to catch the primates, they would share the meat.

On January 9, the group took handmade guns, ropes and traps and went to the park together. They camped in the park for two days until Hang and Sinh detected two Phayre's langurs on the morning of January 11. Hang shot dead both langurs and brought their bodies to the camp.

Around afternoon the same day, the group was found by Pu Mat rangers and the Anti-Poaching Group under Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW), a non-profit organization in Vietnam. The rangers collected the bodies of the langurs, five handmade guns, five knives and other tools the poachers had used.

Phayre's langur, also known as Phayre's leaf monkey, is a species of lutung native to South and Southeast Asia, including India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China. It is threatened by hunting and loss of habitat.

The Phayres leaf monkey is native to South and Southeast Asia. Photo by Shutterstock/Ezaz ahmed Evan

The Phayre's leaf monkey is native to South and Southeast Asia. Photo by Shutterstock/Ezaz ahmed Evan

The animal is classified among rare animals protected by Vietnamese laws from exploitation or use for commercial purposes, and as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.

Nguyen Van Thai, director of SVW, said this was the first time a case of hunting wild animals in Pu Mat park has been taken to court since 2005.

The five defendants were among those invited to a workshop on regulations on protecting wildlife held by Pu Mat park and the SVW in Tuong Duong District but they did not attend it. Instead, they went into the forest to execute their plan to capture, kill and eat langur meat, Thai said.

Pu Mat National Park is spread over 94,700 hectares (234,000 acres). The park has big biodiversity importance and is home to many rare species of flora and fauna.

 
 
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