Tender of endangered langurs in Thiet Son Mountains

After leaving the army, Nguyen Thanh Tu returned to his hometown, wholeheartedly tendered and protected wild langurs from hunters in mountainous village Thiet Son, Thach Hoa commune, Tuyen Hoa district, the north central province of Quang Binh.

Langurs in the Thiet Son Mountains (Photo: SGGP)

The valley village leans on imposing mountains’ feet with Gianh River circling the village’s front.

Hundreds of years ago, local people lived in peace with a langur species which they called black monkey.

Mr. Tu grew up by the mountains and had a close connection to the monkey until he joined the army in Vietnam-Laos border line.

Years when he was in garrison, many village outsiders entered the Thiet Son Mountains and hunted down langurs, putting them in extinct danger.

The monkey used to be very close to local people once, now they are keeping away from any one because of the hunting.

Many times climbing up limestone mountain tops, Mr. Tu found langurs dead in traps.

During hunting season, he wandered ravines trying to save the kinsman animal by removing traps. He drove away strangers from the village. They sometimes fought back or attacked him but still unable to stop him preserving the monkey.

Mr. Tu managed to meet those hunters that he knew and convinced them not to harm the langur. Some quitted but some just ignored or reacted negatively.

The serviceman retired in 2012 and wholeheartedly tendered the species. Wherever hunters appeared, he came, talked to them and recorded their words or even boasts about their hunting achievements.

Tu observes langurs from a distance (Photo: SGGP)

Afterwards, he invited them to have some beverage or coffee, opened tapes for them to listen to and warned them against the illegal work unless he would hand over the tapes to authorized agencies. This has discouraged many hunters.

Some villagers told that since Mr. Tu began protecting langers, the nearly extinct wildlife animal grew to 115 individuals. Some large flocks have developed up to 20 langurs, smaller flocks have 10-15 ones.

Other villagers such as Nguyen Van Nam, Nguyen Van Hong and Nguyen Van Su have joined hands with Tu to protect and preserve the black monkey together with other wild species such as birds and foxes in the Thiet Son Mountains.

By Minh Phong – Translated by Hai Mien

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