PETALING JAYA: The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) will face legal action if they do not probe and charge the officers involved in the culling of seven dusky leaf monkeys, an NGO said today.
Lawyers for Animal Rights disputed Perhilitan’s claim that the officers had acted “in good faith”, in following Section 52 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, since the species was classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
It said the Act itself listed dusky leaf monkeys as a protected species, while also disputing Perhilitan’s claim that only seven monkeys were culled, rather than 20.
It maintained that 20 monkeys were “massacred”, including juvenile monkeys, adding that this was witnessed by members of the public.
“Lawyers for Animal Rights demand that Perhilitan investigate and charge all officers involved in this bloody massacre of dusky langurs.
“Failure to do so will inevitably result in legal proceedings instituted against Perhilitan. Malaysians demand justice and we will not rest until justice is done,” it said in a statement today.
The group said further investigations should be done to verify the reason the monkeys were attacking people, since members of the public have said the monkeys have stayed in the area for years.
It also said Perhilitan needed to determine whether these attacks were caused by any provocation by other members of the public or other factors such as loss of food or habitat.
It added that the probe should confirm if it was in the nature of the animals to interact or attack humans and if other efforts could have been pursued to ensure the monkeys were safe.
“Further investigation should also find out whether the killings were properly authorised and within the powers of the Perhilitan personnel under the Act.”
Several photos of the incident went viral on social media with claims that the state forestry department had allegedly killed 20 of the monkeys at the Seri Sentosa Education quarters area in Batu 2½ Jalan Pantai, Port Dickson on May 19.
In a statement yesterday, Perhilitan clarified that only seven monkeys were culled and claimed that those killed were aggressive and often disturbed residents in the area.
It said the department had conducted operations to capture the animals using traps, but the method was unsuccessful.
The statement said culling was the best approach to address wildlife conflicts in the area after considering all angles including its proximity to a residential area. : FMT