14 macaque carcases found during raid on house in Cha-am

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Provincial wildlife protection authorities discovered the carcases of 14 macaques during a raid carried out at a house in Cha-am on Thursday (May 18).

Rescued from the property were another five macaques, who were alive but had been confined to distressing conditions, devoid of food and water. The operation was led by Prawet Sunthornthai, the director of the local wildlife conservation team, following a tip-off from a concerned neighbor.

The raid came in the wake of a significant breakthrough last week when six individuals suspected of involvement in wildlife trafficking were apprehended in Phetchaburi’s Mueang district.

Local law enforcement agents encountered the gang members in the act of capturing long-tailed macaques within the foothills of Khao Luang, specifically in tambon Thongchai.

Eyewitnesses reported four men and two women deploying tranquillizer darts to ensnare the innocent primates.

However, the officers intervened, rescuing over 10 macaques in the process. The ensuing operation resulted in the seizure of three vehicles, 80 tranquillizer darts, a bag of animal feed, and various other related items from the traffickers.

During subsequent interrogation, the suspects admitted to traveling from Sa Kaeo with the intention of capturing macaques for an unidentified customer.

The suspects claimed they were promised compensation ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 baht for each animal captured.

Interestingly, they maintained that this illicit activity marked their first foray into wildlife trafficking, asserting ignorance regarding the identity of the buyer.

The group were charged with collusion to hunt wild animals without permission, unlawfully possessing wild animals, and engaging in illegal wildlife trading.

The case stands as a grave reminder of the persistent threat posed by wildlife trafficking in the region, as macaques, revered for their intelligence and social nature, are mercilessly exploited for monetary gain.

Authorities are expected to intensify their efforts to dismantle such networks, aiming to safeguard these vulnerable species from further harm and bring those responsible to justice.

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