88 macaques saved from exotic-food trade in Prachin Buri

Crab-eating macaque in Lopburi

Crab-eating macaque in Lopburi. Photo: Chris huh. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Thai police rescued dozens of monkeys that were sent abroad to be eaten. The macaques were crammed into 17 containers in the back of a pick-up truck in Prachinburi, eastern Thailand, on 27 May.

Officers stopped a Isuzu pickup truck believed to be stolen and with fake license plates and arrested driver Panupong Jusing, 25, on suspicion of smuggling protected animals.

Tragically, 14 of the monkeys had died during the journey to neighbouring Cambodia, where they were to be sold to illegal restaurants that cater to the large population of wealthy Chinese customers in the area. Eating monkeys is popular in parts of the Far East, where some people believe the animals have powerful medicinal qualities.

The monkeys that survived the ordeal are now being treated at a wildlife rescue centre in Nakhon Nayok province.

Thai police led by a team from the Crime Suppression Division and Anti-Corruption Division (CSD) in Prachinburi said they had been tracking the suspected smuggler for several weeks after gathering evidence that he had allegedly been delivering monkeys to foreign customers for consumption.

-Thailand News (TN)

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