A group of five illegal hunters have been arrested for killing two rare gray langurs at a national park in the north-central Vietnamese province of Nghe An.
Tran Xuan Cuong, director of the Pu Mat National Park, confirmed on Tuesday that the poachers were handed over to the police unit in Con Cuong District for further investigation.
Management officers previously caught the hunters killing the pair of gray langurs, also known as Hanuman langurs, at the park.
They also confiscated a total of five handmade guns, one living wild boar, legs and bones of another boar, and multiple tools to trap wild animals from the poachers.
The illegal hunters said they came from Tuong Duong District, also in Nghe An Province, to the national park to hunt wildlife.
According to Cuong, gray langurs, whose scientific name is Trachypithecus phayrei, are considered rare and should be protected in accordance with a government decree.
Under Article 244 of the Penal Code, the poachers may face jail terms of one to five years and/or a fine of VND500 million (US$21,500) to VND2 billion ($86,000), online newspaper Dan Tri quoted Cuong as saying.
Covering an area of more than 910 square kilometers, the Pu Mat National Park spans across Tuong Duong, Con Cuong, and Anh Son Districts in Nghe An.
Being part of the Western Nghe An Biosphere Reserve, the park is one of the most important sites for mammal conservation in Vietnam.
Wildlife hunting and other activities that violate regulations on forest protection are prohibited within the venue.
Earlier this month, the park’s forest protection officers apprehended seven people armed with nine handmade guns and confiscated multiple dead monkeys, flying squirrels, and mice.
The gang was slapped with a VND36 million ($1,548) fine.