Forest rangers in the southern province of Dong Nai Friday handed over two rare gibbons they found at a local resident's house to a wildlife rescue agency.
According to the common Inter-Forest Rangers Agency for Trang Bom and Thong Nhat Districts, the yellow-cheeked crested gibbons (Nomascus gabriellae) were being illegally held at Pham Viet Toan's home in Thong Nhat.
The two apes are now in the care of the Dong Nai Culture and Nature Reserve, and will be released into the wild.
The animals, weighing between two and three kilograms, are protected under Vietnamese law.
Categorized as "endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and listed in the Red List of Threatened Species, the apes are mainly distributed in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
In Vietnam it was believed to be the most common of the crested gibbons, but a report in 2003 said that five of 15 localities that were the species' traditional habitats no longer held any populations, according to the IUCN.
The major threats to the gibbon in Vietnam are the pet trade, farm encroachment, and logging, it added.
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