A macaque raised in captivity by a resident for nearly two decades in southern Vietnam has been handed over to local authorities who plan to free it to the natural environment.
Nguyen Thi Be Thi, in Giong Trom District, Ben Tre Province, said on Monday that she had given the stump-tailed macaque she cared for in a cage for 17 years to the provincial Department of Forest Management.
The male animal, which had been kept since it was a baby, weighs around seven kilograms, she said.
Bearing the scientific name of Macaca arctoides, it has thick dark brown bodily fur and a hairless red face.
Vietnam’s Red Data Book lists the species as threatened and rare.
“We’ve kept the macaque because we didn’t recognize it is a rare animal. Though we wanted to have him released to the wild, we didn’t know who can handle that,” Thi said.
“That’s why we’ve raised him until now.”
The animal is known to be well cared for and very friendly to humans.
The department persuaded the owner to free it after receiving information about the captivity.
The macaque will be sent to its natural home in Bu Gia Map National Park in Binh Phuoc Province, to the north of Ho Chi Minh City.