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Italian tourists asked to leave Son Tra for snapping endangered langurs with powerful flashguns

Sunday, September 08, 2019, 16:50 GMT+7
Italian tourists asked to leave Son Tra for snapping endangered langurs with powerful flashguns
An Italian visitor is pictured using strong flashes to take photos of endangered langurs in Son Tra Peninsula in the central city of Da Nang on September 7, 2019. Photo: Dang Thu Thuy / Hoi anh vooc Son Tra

A Vietnamese tour guide has recently asked two Italian tourists to leave Son Tra Peninsula, a famous landscape in the central city of Da Nang, after they used high-capacity flashguns to take photos of endangered langurs.

Nguyen Van Luc, a 34-year-old tour guide based in Da Nang, recalled the incident in his status update posted to a Facebook group named “Hoi anh vooc Son Tra,” which is a place for people to share their photos of langurs and other wildlife in Son Tra, on Saturday.

“The two Italian visitors used cameras with strong flashes to take photos of langurs from a very close distance," Luc recounted.

"I asked them to stop but they didn’t cooperate, so I had to make them leave,” Luc wrote.

The two Italian men were expected to return to Son Tra with their high-capacity flashes, thanks to the assistance of an Italian student who is conducting research in Son Tra, Luc added.

An Italian visitor is pictured using strong flashes to take photos of endangered langurs in Son Tra Peninsula in the central city of Da Nang on September 7, 2019. Photo: Dang Thu Thuy / Hoi anh vooc Son Tra

An Italian visitor is pictured using strong flashes to take photos of endangered langurs in Son Tra Peninsula in the central city of Da Nang on September 7, 2019. Photo: Dang Thu Thuy / Hoi anh vooc Son Tra

He also requested other tourists and photographers in the Facebook group to stop the two foreigners from using their flashguns.

In the comment section of Luc’s status, some other photographers said they had also asked the Italians to refrain from using the flashes, but were responded in an impolite manner.

Others expressed their support for Luc’s decision.

Langurs often sit for a long time to enjoy their food, giving people an opportunity to take their photos, Luc said during an interview with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Sunday.

Nguyen Van Luc poses with young foreign tourists in this photo taken from his Facebook account.

Nguyen Van Luc poses with young foreign tourists in this photo taken from his Facebook account.

However, strong flashes at close range usually make them uncomfortable or scare them away, the tour guide elaborated.

Before working as a guide, Luc had spent five years as a conservationist in Son Tra.

“It was not a big deal. They [the Italian tourists] did not cooperate, so I reported the incident to my firm. We eventually refused to offer our tour to the two foreigners,” he said.

According to Dao Dang Cong Trung, who has spent many years on protecting the environment in Son Tra, flashes often irritate wild animals, especially the langurs as they do not have the sclera and are thus sensitive to light.

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