By Rhishja Cota-Larson
An extremely shocking wildlife crime case has been opened in Vietnam after the captors of an endangered langur posted gruesome photos on Facebook of the small primate being tortured and killed. Vietnamese NGO Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) was alerted to the situation by an informant who saw photos on Facebook of a young man smiling as he inflicted unspeakable pain on the little langur.
Thanks to an informant who reported the incident to ENV, we are now tracking down the offender to report the crime to authorities, and will push for him to be punished according to the law. The photos have already received hundreds of shares and upset comments from across the online Vietnamese community. It’s a tragic case, but we are heartened by the public reaction.
Update 01/18/2013: Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) reports that the three hunters who caught and sold the endangered langurs to the soldiers have received jail sentences of 28, 24, and 12 months.
Update 08/01/2012: According to the news portal Viet Nam News, Quang has been “discharged from the army for causing the death of two endangered langurs” and his accomplices have “received disciplinary warnings”. Although Vietnamese law states that an offender can be jailed for up to three years for killing an endangered species such as the grey-shanked douc langur, there was no mention of further punishment for Quang.
Update 07/20/2012: According to ENV via 24k.com.vn: “The suspects involved have been taken in for questioning. The young man who posted the photos on his Facebook page has reportedly claimed that he wasn’t responsible for killing the langur – but that he bought it from a local person and asked them to kill it for him so he could eat it.”
However, the langur is clearly alive in at least some of the photos, so it is this author’s opinion that the young man’s “story” is inaccurate.
An additional photo can be seen here. More....