China Buying 1 Lakh Endangered Monkeys For Experiments

Gunadasa Samarasinghe, the top bureaucrat in Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Agriculture, has confirmed that China is buying one lakh endangered monkeys.

Sri Lanka has confirmed China’s request for importing 1,00,000 endangered monkeys from the cash-strapped island nation, amidst protests from environmental groups against the deal.

Gunadasa Samarasinghe, the top bureaucrat in Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Agriculture said that a privately-owned Chinese company connected to Zoological Gardens which are animal breeders had made the request to his ministry.

“We will not send the whole 100,000 in one lot. But we considered the request due to crop damages caused by the monkeys in several parts of the country. They will not be taken from conserved areas. The focus will be only in the cultivation areas”, Mr Samarasinghe told reporters.

The toque macaque monkey is endemic to Sri Lanka and classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list.

Last week, Sri Lanka’s agriculture minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that China’s request for 1,00,000 monkeys to be exhibited at over 1,000 Chinese zoos could be considered.

“They want these monkeys for their zoos,” the minister was quoted as saying. Sri Lanka bans almost all live animal exports but the proposed sale comes at a time when the country is facing its worst-ever economic crisis.

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