A woman from Ho Chi Minh City handed a rhesus macaque to local forest rangers on Wednesday, hoping to contribute to the protection of endangered and rare animals.
Bui Thi Ngoc Thu, a 66-year-old resident in District 1, gave the macaque she had raised for the past four years to the municipal Forest Protection Department on Wednesday.
The rhesus macaque, or Macaca mulatta, weighs about seven kilograms and belongs to the endangered, rare, and precious wildlife species of group IIB, which must be preserved according to a central government decree issued in 2021, the department said.
Thu, a housemaid, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that a customer in District 1 had asked her to take care of the monkey four years ago, but never took the animal back.
She fed the monkey milk every day. Eventually, the ape grew so large that she was forced to keep it in a cage. It has never injured anyone.
Since a relative living in Thu's house is currently being treated at the hospital, she gave the primate to local authorities so she could take care of her relative.
Bui Thi Hong, Thu’s younger sister, contacted local forest rangers so that Thu could hand over the macaque.
“My sister wanted to hand out the macaque to the local forest rangers so it could be released back to nature,” Hong said.
The rhesus macaque has been brought to a rescue center run by officers from the Ho Chi Minh City Forest Protection Department for necessary care before being released back to nature.
Transporting, trading, capturing or killing wild animals or parts thereof is a criminal offense in Vietnam punishable by six months to 12 years in prison, according to the Penal Code.
Since 1994, Vietnam has been party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which is an international agreement between governments with an aim to protect endangered plants and animals.