A local man uses a catapult to shoot monkeys on a tree at the Linh Ứng Pagoda in Sơn Trà Mountain. Local rangers have identified the man. Photo courtesy An Bình and Thanh Ngọc Trúc
ĐÀ NẴNG — At least eight Rhesus monkeys (Macara Mulatta), an endangered species, were found living at the Linh Ứng Pagoda with serious injuries or missing limbs. A local freelance photographer said he spent two months to collect photos of the injured monkeys in the Sơn Trà Nature Reserve.
Photographer Nguyễn Công Hưng, a member of Đà Nẵng Artistic Photographers Association, said he saw injuries on the monkeys, but he is not sure exactly how many monkeys there were.
“I could count at least eight living in the garden of Linh Ứng Pagoda. Some monkeys had lost one or two limbs, and there was even a pregnant monkey with a cut on its stomach,” he said.
A monkey is found in the Sơn Trà Mountain with two limbs cut off. A local photographer marked the two injuries on the monkey that he took in a two-month period. Photo courtesy Nguyễn Công Hưng
Hưng said he suspected that the injuries on the monkeys were caused by humans, not conflicts among animals.
Two other local photographers – An Bình and Thanh Ngọc Trúc – said they found a local man shooting at the monkeys with a catapult.
They said the shooter, who wore a uniform of the photograph service at the pagoda, tried to shoot the monkeys on the trees for fun and cause them to get aggressive.
Vice director of the city’s agriculture and rural development department, Trần Viết Phương, said local rangers have identified the man and a report on the illegal act will be made.
A pregnant monkey is found with a wound on its stomach. A local photographer took the photo. He speculated that the injury was caused by humans. Photo courtesy Nguyễn Công Hưng
Phương, who is head of the city’s forest protection sub-department, said warnings on feeding monkeys and other wildlife had been posted at destinations in the Sơn Trà Mountains, but some tourists neglected the notices.
They (tourists and local residents) fed the monkeys with snacks, candy and biscuits, he said.
Efforts have been made to drive troupes of monkeys back to the Sơn Trà Nature Reserve over recent months, but a group of 30 monkeys still occupy the Linh Ứng Pagoda garden seeking food from visitors, Phương said.
Monkeys can be seen heading downhill to look for food from tourists and dustbins at the Linh Ứng Pagoda, resorts, fruit gardens and kitchens at farms in the reserve.
Six monkeys were killed by motorcyclists in 2015-17, and two cases of illegal hunting were uncovered in the area, with three red-shanked douc langurs killed for money.
At least 10,000 people visit the areas every month, causing noise pollution and leaving leftovers and rubbish in the reserve, a report from the Sơn Trà management board said. — VNS