Police hunt for two suspects after endangered monkey shot dead in Vietnam

By Vo Thanh   October 16, 2017 | 09:14 pm PT
Police hunt for two suspects after endangered monkey shot dead in Vietnam
A photo provided by the police shows the dead red-shanked douc langur in Thua Thien Hue Province.
The red-shanked douc langur was dumped along with a gun as the suspects fled from forest rangers in a protected national park.

Police in the central province of Thua Thien Hue are tracking down two people who escaped from forest rangers last Saturday leaving a rare douc langur that had been shot dead behind.

Forest rangers and police officers were patrolling in Bach Ma National Park on Saturday night when they spotted two people acting suspiciously.

The suspects fled on a motorbike before dumping it along with bags containing a dead red-shanked douc langur of around 14 kilograms (31 pounds), a gun, bullets and several personal items. 

Red-shanked doucs (Pygathrix nemaeus), also known as “costumed apes” due to their striking appearance, and are found in Cambodia, Laos and northern and central Vietnam.

The langurs are threatened mostly by poaching. They are identified as endangered by the International Union of Conservation for Nature and listed in Vietnam’s Red Book of rare animals that must be protected.

In Vietnam, the species has been recorded in a number of protected areas including the Bach Ma, Phong Nha-Ke Bang and Pu Mat national parks. A survey conducted in 2008 spotted at least 171 individuals in the Son Tra Nature Reserve in Da Nang, making it the world’s largest population of the species.

Bach Ma National Park was established in 1991 and covers more than 37,000 hectares (91,400 acres). It's a one-hour drive to the southeast of Hue, the provincial capital and tourism center.

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