Vietnam: Endangered Langur Brutally Tortured and Killed ‘for Fun’

Shocking photos posted on Facebook show a young man smiling as he tortures and kills an endangered langur.

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.

Thanks to an informant, Education for Nature-Vietnam is tracking down the offender shown in these disturbing photos.

An additional photo can be seen here.

Comments can be seen on ENV’s Facebook page in English and on ENV’s community volunteer page in Vietnamese.

Sadly, this is not an isolated incident.

Earlier this month, a man identified as Bui Van Ngay was arrested for killing 18 langurs in Vietnam’s Bu Gia Map National Park.

According to ENV, Vietnam is home to at least 11 different species of langur and five gibbon species. Five of Vietnam’s primates are among the 25 world’s most critically endangered primates.

In Vietnam, langurs and gibbons are usually sold as pets or kept in illegal zoos found near resorts and hotels. However, they are still eaten in some “remote areas”.

Learn more about Education for Nature-Vietnam and how you can help at www.envietnam.org.


Image by Art G. via Wikimedia Commons

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Rhishja Cota-Larson

I am the founder of Annamiticus, and I work as an independent Wildlife Trade and Communication Design Consultant. I have journeyed to the streets of Hanoi to research the illegal wildlife trade, and to the rainforests of Sumatra and Java to document the world’s rarest rhinos. I am a Co-Chair of the SSN Pangolin Working Group. At CITES meetings, I collaborate with colleagues from around the world to lobby in favor of protecting endangered species. I am a Wildlife Trade and Trafficking Consultant for the upcoming documentary The Price, the host of Behind the Schemes and author of the book Murder, Myths & Medicine. I enjoy desert gardening, herping, reading, designing, and walking with my dogs.

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