"Yes, the trap is ours. But no, the monkeys were not supposed to be left that way and an investigation has already begun."
Wildlife and National Parks Department biodiversity conservation division director Siti Hawa Yatim was commenting on the container of monkeys found by a resident of Mont Kiara on Sunday.
"The monkeys should not have been left without food and supervision. We are investigating," she said.
"We want to know for how long and why the monkeys were abandoned there."
She added that action would be taken against the officers responsible if they were found to be negligent.
She explained the normal procedure would be to bring the trapped monkeys to the department as soon as possible.
"We feed them before releasing them into the jungle. And we don't leave them in the container for long," she said.
Yesterday, The Malay Mail reported that the Mont Kiara resident had gone to check on the screams coming from a forested area near the condominiums for several days. He found 18 monkeys in a black container with the Wildlife Department's name and telephone number painted on it.
Five were already dead. Some, one of them a baby, were sprawled on the floor dying, and the rest huddled in a corner of the container, trembling at the sight of humans. The resident claimed the monkeys had been trapped at least 10 days ago, and he believes they had not been fed since.
Siti Hawa said the trap was set because of complaints of wild monkeys from the residents in the area. She added the dead monkeys were sent for a post-mortem yesterday. The survivors will be released into the jungle soon.
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Selangor (SPCA) chairperson Christine Chin said the organisation is appalled.
"The condominium management should have been more vigilant and the Wildlife Department should have better monitored the trap to save the animals from unnecessary suffering and death," she said.
SPCA public relations officer Jacinta Johnson said yesterday an SPCA inspection team went to investigate but was told by the condo management that the monkeys had been removed.
"But we found one injured male monkey about 20 metres away from the site. It was severely dehydrated and suffering from heatstroke. It also had injuries to its head and tail," she said.
The monkey has been taken to the Veterinary Services Department.