6 June 2024

Six Phayre’s langurs were found dead and two illegal hunters were injured in a clash with forest rangers in the Kaeng Krachan National Park in Thailand’s Phetchaburi province on Monday.

According to the park chief, Somjet Chanthana, park rangers heard gunshots as they were on a routine patrol of the national park in Huay Mae Phraing sub-district, Kaeng Krachan district, and they immediately went to investigate.

The rangers found two men, armed with shotguns, and ordered them to stop for searches, but they resisted and opened fire at the rangers, who returned fire and then arrested the suspects.

The two hunters were injured and had to be carried on improvised stretchers out of the woods. Also found at the scene were six dead Phayre’s langurs, believed to have been killed by the two men.

Mana Permpoon, chief of the wildlife conservation office of the Region 3 Protected Area, said that poachers usually hunt for langurs in the dry season for their meat, which they believe enhances physical strength.

As a former chief of Kaeng Krachan National Park, he said he has seized about 120kg of langur meat intended for consumption from hunters and any surplus is sold to other villagers, which can fetch 250-400 baht/kg.

He said that there are many langurs in the park area because it is fertile and mostly undisturbed by humans.