Tezpur:  The carcasses of five Capped Langur, which falls in the ‘rare’ category, were found in Behali reserve forest in Assam’s Biswanath district bordering Arunachal Pradesh, a forest officer said on Saturday.

Members of a wildlife conservation agency recently found the carcasses near Hatidipu and Ranga picnic spots in the reserve forest.

Sonitpur East Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Arun Vignesh told EastMojo the langurs were killed by poachers for their skin, bones and tail.

“We recovered 5 skulls and some bones inside Behali Reserve Forest. They are suspected to be capped langur carcasses,” Vignesh said.

The carcasses were recovered on January 3-4, after which the forest department registered a case and started an investigation. Raids are being conducted in adjoining areas as there is an apprehension that more wild animals might have been killed by the poachers.

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“This is the first such incident here and we are not sure about the cause of death yet. The samples have been sent for forensic testing. We will also be sending the samples to wildlife institue to confirm the species,” the Sonitpur East Division DFO told EastMojo.

The reserve forest has been a hunting ground for poachers, especially for wild elephants. It houses four species of primates– Rhesus Macaque (least threatened) Capped Langur (rare), Assamese Macaque (near threatened) and Slow Loris (endangered).

Poachers are suspected to be behind the killing of langurs because, Vignesh said, the five carcasses were found in one location and there weren’t many bones.

“We only got skulls and a few bones. That looks like it could be poaching. It is also not very easy to poach langurs. They were probably lured and trapped.”

A Forest range officer will lead the investigation of the monkey deaths together with an investigating officer, the DFO said.

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