Young children attacked by endangered macaque on central Vietnam island

By Viet Quoc   October 3, 2022 | 01:51 am PT
Young children attacked by endangered macaque on central Vietnam island
A macaque that attacked children at a kindergarten on Binh Thuan's Phu Quy Island, October 3, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Truong Thinh
Around 10 young children on Binh Thuan Province's Phu Quy Island were attacked and injured on Monday by a macaque who had escaped from a local family.

The macaque, which weighed over 10 kilograms, entered a kindergarten in Ngu Phung Commune Monday afternoon. It climbed through a window of a class of around 20 kindergarteners, before biting the arms of a 4-year-old child. Teachers chased the macaque away and it escaped to a tree in the school yard.

The 4-year-old was rushed to a local medical center and vaccinated against rabies as a precaution.

Earlier on Monday morning, the Ngu Phung People’s Committee had issued an announcement about a macaque let loose from a cage and going around attacking people. The macaque was bought by a family in Long Hai Commune from the mainland to be raised, but it had escaped a month prior, authorities said.

Tran Trong Kim, deputy chairman of the Ngu Phung People’s Committee, said the macaque was aggressive and tended to attack children. It often targeted children unattended by adults, he added. Over the past month, around 10 young children aged 2-13 had been attacked by the macaque and had to be vaccinated against rabies. The animal also caused damage to people’s property, he added.

"District authorities have failed to catch it. The macaque is very smart and elusive," Kim said.

Dinh Duc Linh, an animal expert at the Ta Cu conservation area, said it might be a pig-tailed macaque, which is included in Vietnam’s Red Data Book of endangered species.

Phu Quy Island, about 100 kilometers from the mainland, has over 30,000 residents. There are usually no wild macaques present on the island.

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