Men probed on primate poaching suspicion

TN News

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Police in the central province of Khanh Hoa on July 21 said they have put three men under investigation for allegedly killing rare black-shanked douc langurs (also known as snub-nosed monkeys).

Nguyen Dinh Phan, 38, Luong Van Chanh, 33, and Ho Xuan Thanh 38, were arrested on July 6 carrying seven dead langurs and two guns, police said.

The men told police they shot the primates in Hoc Chim forest in the Van Ninh District, according to official reports.

The langurs (Pygathirix nigripes) are listed as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

In August 2008, the Wildlife Conservation Society discovered an estimated 42,000 blackshanked douc langurs in Cambodia's Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area the largest known population of the endangered species.

Vietnam's had previously been thought to have the largest population in the world-an estimated 600 langurs.

No definitive figures exist, however, for the total current population of the species, which have been aggressively hunted for traditional medicine purposes.

In unrelated news, forest rangers in the north-central province of Ha Tinh released a rare Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus) in the National Natural Conservation Center of Ke Go. The release of the bird coincided with the arrest of the three men accused of poaching.

The nearly one-meter tall Asian stork was purchased by Ho Tung Linh in Thach Ha District from another local early this month.

Linh then turned the bird over to the rangers for release.

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