Man caught in Vietnam national park with 18 monkey carcasses

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Police in the southeastern Vietnamese province of Binh Phuoc Wednesday arrested a poacher for killing 18 rare primates in a national park and are looking for his accomplices.

Bui Van Ngay, 48, was apprehended June 28 after rangers and officials of the Bu Gia Map National Park management, while on a patrol, found the dried carcasses of 18 black-shanked douc (Pygathrix nigripes) langurs in a makeshift hut in the middle of the forest.

They laid in ambush and arrested Ngay when he returned to the hut.

He confessed to them that he and some other poachers entered the park to hunt endangered wild animals for trade, and were about to take the 18 carcasses out to sell.

The police said they looking for the other poachers. Ngay is likely to face a charge of "hunting endangered wild animals."

The black-shanked douc is an endangered species of douc found in the forests of Vietnam and Cambodia. It is unique among the doucs in having a largely greyish-blue face.

Listed as "endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, it is also protected under Vietnamese law which bans hunting and trading the animal.

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According to the IUCN, poaching is currently the major threat the species faces. It is usually hunted for traditional medicine, mainly in the north where poaching of the doucs for this purpose is more common. In the south, it is primarily trapped for the pet trade.

Destruction of its natural habitat is also a threat to the species. A large part of the center and south suffered from massive wartime damage, and the post-war human demographic explosion and extensive logging for coffee, rubber, and cashew plantations have reduced its natural habitat, IUCN said.

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