There are five species of macaques native to Vietnam. These include the long-tailed or crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis), pig-tailed macaque (Macaca leonina), Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), stump-tailed macaque (Macaca arctoides), and the Assamese macaque (Macaca assamensis).
All five of Vietnam’s macaque species are threatened by hunting and trade. Large numbers of macaques are legally exported each year to Europe and the US where they are used in cosmetic and biomedical research laboratories. However, many of these animals are suspected of being wild-caught and laundered through legal farms.
Macaques are also used in traditional medicine, kept as pets in Vietnam, and eaten at wildlife restaurants.
A cooking pot containing the bones and skulls of macaques was discovered in a September 2007 raid on a Hanoi resident’s house. The bones are used to make monkey bone glue, a form of traditional medicine.
Photo by Pham Tuyen
On the streets of Ho Chi Minh a young macaque chained to a cage is offered for sale.
These sad eyes suggest much about the life of a macaque chained out the front of a restaurant to attract visitors. This photo was taken near the popular tourist destination of Sa Pa in Lao Cai province.
A long-tailed macaque waits in a cage behind a restaurant in Dong Thap province. This macaque is more likely to appear on the menu than intended to attract visitors.
Large numbers of macaques are believed to be illegally captured from the wild and laundered through registered breeding farms in Vietnam before being exported to research and cosmetics laboratories in the United States and other western countries.
A sad end for a fellow primate, now on display in a jar of wine.
Good news for two stump-tailed macaques confiscated from a hotel in Hai Phong and awaiting transport to a rescue center. These and hundreds of other animals have been confiscated thanks to public support in efforts to stop the illegal trade.