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In Brief

Challenge

Illegally kept monkeys in South Vietnam are rehabilitated and healthy candidates released into the wild and monitored by the Endangered Asian Species Trust (EAST). Rare black-shanked douc langur, pygmy loris and golden-cheeked gibbons have all been successfully rehabilitated and set free. Staff needed training in key veterinary procedures and WVI needed project familiarisation to better advise EAST, assess potential for further capacity building in wildlife training and support - either remotely or on site – and advise how to stopping breeding whilst primates were in the centre.

WVI were invited for some key veterinary procedures but mainly to make themselves familiar with the project and project staff. The aim was to be in a better position to advise EAST over the next few years. assess the potential for further capacity building in wildlife training and support, either remotely or on site. In particular, stopping the primates breeding whilst they were in the centre has become a necessity and difficult.

Objective

The objective of the visit in July 2012 of a WVI vet was:
1) to familiarise themselves with the project and project staff.
2) to fit temporary contraceptive implants into 2 female golden-cheeked gibbons (Nomascus gabriellae)
3) to fit 3 pygmy slow lorises (Nycticebus pygmaeus) with radiocollars
4) remove a radiocollar from a released golden cheeked gibbon

Solution

WVI sent Dr John Lewis, an expert in anaesthesia, fitting radiocollars (though normally on big cats) and from his experience as a zoo vet, in controlling breeding in primates.

WVI is now in a much better position to provide advise to EAST. This advise may be either remotely, or on site.

Primate rescue, rehabilitation and release in Vietnam

Vietnam - loris being weighed after have been radiocollared, prior to release. Dao Tien. Photocredit EAST

Vietnam - loris being weighed after have been radiocollared, prior to release. Dao Tien. Photocredit EAST

Cute and cuddly they may be, but pygmy slow lorises (Nycticebus pygmaeus) are classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN Redlist and are at threat from the pet and traditional medicine trade in the Far East. A charity called the Endangered Asian Species Trust, EAST, aims to work with the Vietnamese government to rescue primates from the trade in Vietnam, rehabilitate them at their facilities in Dao Tien Endangered Primate Species Centre; a 57 hectare island in Cat Tien National Park, South Vietnam.

EAST invited WVI vet John Lewis to help them with a few procedures whilst getting familiar with the project and project staff.

John Lewis is better known to WVI for his leopard and tiger skills but he is actually is a very experienced primate vet too. in 2008 John visited the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre based at Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam. WVI presented a field gas/air anaesthesia machine (invented by John Lewis) and supplies to the Centre.