TAK — When police entered Nikorn Manpakdee’s house Friday morning, they found him busy in the kitchen. What was cooking in his kitchen? A severed macaque head, 2 kilograms of skinned macaque meat, and the animal’s legs and arms.
They arrested the 41-year-old Tak man on the spot in Tak’s Nong Bua Naur tambon for allegedly killing the animal on protected forest land.
“The dissected monkey parts are mine. I hunted it in the forest to eat it,” Nikorn told the police of the dismembered, crab-eating macaque.
Lt. Col. Dendiew Dontumpai and wildlife officers confiscated the macaque’s carcass, skinned meat, head, legs and arms. They also took Nikorn’s motorcycle.
Friday morning, locals were putting out a forest fire in the Baan Rai Taa Trakoo Protected Forest when they saw Nikorn ride out of the forest on a motorcycle without license plates. Thinking him suspicious, they called the police who went to Nikorn’s house and found the monkey carcass.
A test of Nikorn’s urine found traces of methamphetamine.
According to Dendiew, Nikorn’s has been in and out of jail repeatedly for theft and drug-related crimes. Nikorn said that this was his first time hunting a monkey.
Police will charge Nikorn with hunting a protected forest animal and possessing a protected animal carcass without a permit.
Under Thai law, crab-eating macaques can be kept in captivity and bred only with an appropriate license.