Raid on smugglers saves 5 macaques

Raid on smugglers saves 5 macaques

Phetchaburi: Authorities raided a house in Cha-am district on Thursday where they found the carcasses of 14 macaques, with five still alive but in a distressed condition.

A wildlife conservation team led by Prawet Sunthornthai, director of the provincial wildlife protection area, searched a rented house in Ban Khao Mainual in tambon Khao Yai where they discovered five macaques locked up in baskets without food or water.

Acting on a tip-off from a neighbour next door, the team also smelled a pungent odour, which led them to a large bag containing the carcasses of 14 other macaques.

Thursday’s raid followed the arrest last Friday of six members of a wildlife trafficking gang in Muang district of Phetchaburi.

Local police arrived in the foothills of Khao Luang in tambon Thongchai and found a wildlife trafficking gang capturing long-tailed macaques in the area. The officers observed four men and two women using tranquilliser darts to knock out and catch the monkeys.

All six were apprehended, and more than 10 macaques were saved. The authorities also seized a Ford Ranger pickup truck, a Toyota Prius, a Toyota Wish, 80 tranquilliser darts, a bag of animal feed and other items from the group.

During questioning, the suspects allegedly confessed to travelling from Sa Kaeo to capture macaques for a customer who would pay them 1,000 to 2,000 baht for each animal. They claimed that they did not know the buyer and that this was the first time they had done it.

The police charged the group with colluding to hunt wild animals without permission, illegal possession of wild animals and illegally trading in wildlife.

Meanwhile, the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources has campaigned against buying or consuming parrotfish after receiving a complaint from people about the sale of the fish in Talat Ngern Vijit in Klong San district of Bangkok recently.

Five shops at the market were offering the fish for sale.