Brutal killing of macaque points to park poachers, says activist

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 March, 2009, 12:00am

Police are investigating the killing of a macaque in North Kowloon which an animal-rights activist claims could have been the work of hunters who sell the meat of wild animals over the border.

The monkey was found dead on a road near the Kam Shan Country Park on Tuesday evening. It had cuts on its body and a piece of string around one leg. The activist, who said he had been with the man who found the carcass, claimed the monkey had suffered a brutal death.

The monkey could have been killed by 'skilled hunters' who had been active in the country park poaching wild boars, dogs and monkeys for years, the activist said.

Following the death, conservation department officers have pledged to step up patrols in the Kam Shan park.

Government vets will conduct a postmortem examination to find the cause of death.

The activist said: 'We have been secretly following [the hunters] for some time. They are skilled, and use snares, stun guns and harpoons. They operate mainly at night.

'You cannot imagine how cruelly they treat the animals they capture. A dead monkey we found last time had had its blood drained,' said the activist, who would not disclose his name since he and his colleagues are still covertly monitoring the hunters in the park.

The activist said they had tried reporting the problem to police and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department several times but the cases were never taken seriously.

He believed the hunters belonged to a syndicate that sells the captured animals across the border, but could not offer any proof.

A conversation department spokeswoman said officers had not found any dead monkeys on patrols in recent months.

Rights group Animal Earth urged police and the department to take the case seriously and find the killer. 'This is a serious criminal offence, given the extreme cruelty inflicted,' chairman David Wong Kai-yan said.

He said he would not be surprised if captured monkeys were treated as delicacies across the border. 'The hunters can grab whatever they like with ease,' he said.