Thailand: More than 100 monkeys struggling for air rescued from smugglers

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More than 100 monkeys have been rescued from smugglers in Thailand - who were carrying them in bags in the back of a pick-up truck.

The long-tailed macaques were found on Thursday at a checkpoint near the Cambodian border.

They were in blue mesh bags stashed together in plastic baskets.

Thai vets set up a field hospital to treat the monkeys, who were struggling and gasping for air when they were found.

Ultrasound scanners and breathing tubes were used to treat 80 of the macaques; four were in critical condition and 18 did not survive, authorities said.

Some of the monkeys were pregnant.

"The monkeys were exhausted and dehydrated for a long time. Some of them had respiratory problems because of overcrowding during the smuggling operation," said head vet Pattarapol Maneeon.

The driver of the truck was detained for wildlife smuggling.

The man told local media that he was hired for 3,000 baht (£68) to drive the truck to the border and that he was not aware there were monkeys in the back.

Macaques are commonly found across parts of Asia, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Southeast Asia and China.

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