Monkeys rescued from trafficking in Thailand, eighteen died

Thai wildlife authorities said on Saturday they had rescued over 100 long-tailed macaques tied in bags from the trunk of a car. People tried smuggling the animals, some of them did not survive.

The truck was intercepted on Thursday at a checkpoint while it was on its way to a Thai province bordering Cambodia.

In the back of the truck, 102 macaques were found wrapped in blue netted bags, cramped together in plastic baskets. The monkeys were struggling and gasping for air when authorities found them.

Four were in critical condition, and 18 did not survive, authorities said. Some of the monkeys were pregnant.

Thai veterinarians have set up a field hospital equipped with ultrasound scanners and breathing tubes to treat the 80 macaques who were still alive.

“The monkeys were exhausted and dehydrated for a long time. Some of them had respiratory problems because of overcrowding during the smuggling operation,” the department’s head vet Pattarapol Maneeon said.

The driver of the truck has been arrested for wildlife smuggling.

The man told local media that he was hired for 3,000 baht ($96) to drive the truck to the border and that he did not know there were monkeys in the back of the vehicle.

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