2 days ago we received a call from some colleagues at a human rescue unit in Chumphon Province, 4 hours south of the WFFT Wildlife Rescue Centre. They had found a very young male infant dusky langur (Trachypithecus obscurus) after its mother had been attacked and killed by a pack of feral dogs. The WFFT Rescue Team headed out for the long drive south to help this poor infant. Upon arrival they were shocked to find a very small langur who had sustained numerous bite wounds during the attack. We estimate the he is around a week old, as his umbilical cord is still attached. After giving him a quick feed of a special milk formula, he was rushed back to the WFFT Wildlife Hospital.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists the dusky langur as Near Threatened (NT). Hunting for food and the pet trade are major threats, as is habitat loss and degradation, due to expansion of agricultural practices and urbanization throughout its range. Considering the extensive habitat loss that has taken place within the range of the species, there is reason to believe that this species is in decline.
This species plays a major role in the ecology of the forest, providing ecosystem services in their forest habitats. They act as seed dispersers of the plants and fruits they eat, enhancing forest regeneration and connectivity. They also have an impact on the food chain as they serve as prey for various other species of animals such as leopards.
Attacks on wild animals by feral dogs and cats are very common here in Thailand, they often kill or injure native wild animals, this can have long term detrimental affect on Thailand’s wild animals. The feral dog population alone is estimated at just below 1,000,000 individuals.
After a more thorough medical examination back at WFFT it was found that little Kanoon, as we have named, has a punctured lung as well as numerous superficial bite wounds to his head. Kanoon is currently under 24-hour intensive care from our vet team, and has taken a particular liking to a big teddy bear for comfort. The survival rate of young orphaned langurs is low, this twinned with his injuries, result in slim chances of him pulling through. Please send him lots of positive thoughts. We are all hoping he will make it. Updates will follow.