Press Release: Confiscation of infant orangutan from wildlife traders in Aceh Province, Sumatra.

This pictured made available on the 16th of June 2012 shows an infant male orangutan being held illegally by wildlife traders in a small village on the outskirts of the Tripa peat forest, Aceh Province, Indonesia. The orangutan was discovered by an undercover investigation team on the 12th June, and four days later, was successfully confiscated by a team involving staff from the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, Local Police and Government Authorities. According to Dr Ian Singelton of SOCP the Tripa peat forest is home to the highest population density of Orangutan found anywhere on earth, but predicted to be locally extinct by the end of 2012 if current levels of forest clearing and conversion to plan oil plantation is not stopped immediately. Photo: Paul Hilton/SOCP/YEL (HANDOUT PHOTO, EDITORIAL USE ONLY)

16 June 2012

Press Release – For immediate distribution

Confiscation of infant orangutan from wildlife traders in Aceh Province, Sumatra.

[Babahrot, Aceh Barat Daya, Aceh Province, Indonesia] Today, 16th of July, a team involving staff from the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, Local Police, and relevant Government authorities confiscated an infant male Orangutan from traders who had been attempting to sell it to an undercover wildlife trafficking investigation team earlier in the week.

“Tripa is home to the highest population density of Orangutans found anywhere on earth” Said Dr Ian Singleton, Conservation Director of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program.  Todays rescue was a great success and a fantastic collaboration from the police and various agencies involved. This little Orangutan is one of the lucky ones, and for the team, one of two during the past 48 hours in from Tripa.”

“In 1990 we estimate there was almost 2000 Orangutans in the Tripa Peat forest, and now today it could be less than 200 due to the ongoing and often illegal clearance of forest through the conversion to palm oil plantations. Satellite imagery obtained shows over 1500 hectares of conversion in the last 6 months in Tripa alone, and our ground team has reported ongoing fires and illegal activity of operations in palm oil concessions despite a central government investigation into their behavior.”

“Saturdays confiscation was the second orangutan rescued in as many days from Tripa, with a sub-adult male about 15 years old named Harry, now safely relocated to Jantho on the 15/06 due his forest home being encroached by a rising sea of palm oil, and field reports of fires still being used to clear forest inside the protected Leuser Ecosystem.

“This young orangutan is very thin, but otherwise active and has a good appetite. We are confident he will be fit and well in no time and he can now look forward to a long life in the wild after he is eventually released, instead if a very short life had stayed with his previous owner” concluded Dr. Ian Singleton.

“Orangutan is protected endangered wildlife and should not be captured, kept as pets or traded. This confiscation has helped to raise awareness of the community that they should not injure, capture, trade or keep Orangutan or other protected wildlife as pets.” Said Nurdin from BKSDA.

“We are vey happy with the success and outcome from todays activity”. Said Eko Budi, Head of Abdya District Police “the wildlife and its habitat is interwoven, and the community should not destroy it because on the legal aspect its violating the law plus if community damaged the environment, the community itself who will have to deal with the impact of the environmental damage.”

“The rescues of these two Orangutans has been a great collaboration from Community, Police, NGO and Government Departments” Added Farwiza from BPKEL “We are happy to see the effective and successful action of all involved. To provide best conditions for Wildlife, Community and Environment it is important the National Spatial Planning Law 26/2007 is actually followed, and Tripa is restored as it forms an important part of the protected Leuser Ecosystem.

For Further Comment or Interview, please contact:

Dr Ian Singleton, SOCP (Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program)

Email: mokko123@gmail.com

Phone: 0811650491

Eko Budi, Head of Police, Aceh Barat Daya District

Phone: 081227825329

Nurdin, BKSDA (Natural Resource Conservation Agency)

Phone: 0852213756100

Farwiza, BPKEL (Management Authority of Leuser Ecosystem)

Email: wiza.leuser@gmail.com

Phone: 082162610756

Download Press Release: Confiscation of infant orangutan from wildlife traders in Aceh Province

Rilis dalam Bahasa Indonesia: Penyitaan bayi orangutan dari pedagang satwa dilindungi di Provinsi Aceh

A member of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program team celebrates after a successful confiscation of an infant male orangutan being held illegally, by wildlife traders in a small village on the outskirts of the Tripa peat forest, Aceh Province, Indonesia, 16 June 2012. The orangutan was discovered by an undercover investigation team on the 12th June, and four days later, was successfully confiscated by a team involving staff from the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, Local Police and Government Authorities. According to Dr Ian Singelton of SOCP the Tripa peat forest is home to the highest population density of Orangutan found anywhere on earth, but predicted to be locally extinct by the end of 2012 if current levels of forest clearing and conversion to plan oil plantation is not stopped immediately. Photo: Paul Hilton/SOCP/YEL (HANDOUT PHOTO, EDITORIAL USE ONLY)

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About endoftheicons

The Leuser Ecosystem on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia is in grave danger. Local politicians want to allow logging, mining and palm oil plantations in this vulnerable area. Sumatran orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers are already hanging on by a thread. They will not survive the destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem.

8 responses to “Press Release: Confiscation of infant orangutan from wildlife traders in Aceh Province, Sumatra.”

  1. Judy says :

    Thank God you managed to rescue this lovely little man!His face is so sad & he looks so thin.At least he now has a chance of life.Huge respect for your efforts!

  2. Sasha says :

    The eyes of this infant baby male orangutan are wise beyond his years… Probably because those eyes have witnessed more harm, suffering, and pain than most adult humans will see in their entire life! I am truly sorry for all the evil we, humans, have caused a species as innocent, precious, and loving as the orangutan.

    Thank you for rescuing this baby boy! And please make sure he gets the love, nurture, and care he would have gotten from his mother. I hope someday, he will be able to return to a life of freedom in a truly safe forest FAR away from the dangers of human activity!

  3. Naomi says :

    So very relieved that this little one was rescued. So many aren’t, but at least this one was. That is something to be grateful for.

  4. Judy says :

    Do these ‘wildlife traders’ get prosecuted for trying to sell this beautiful orangutan?Are they invstigated for the way they obtained it in the first place(by murdering his poor innocent mother,no doubt!).So will they be punished for killing an orangutan which I believe is illegal,for capturing an infant which I believe is illegal & then trying to profit from the selling of this infant which again I believe is illegal??????Until these ‘laws’ are enforced properly this abhorrant trading will contine.I fully agree with Indonesian law of the death penalty for drug smugglers,it should be enough of a detterent for these idiots to think twice about trading heroin etc(even though there will always be some who think they will get through!)If the same punishment was handed out to animal smugglers(after all Orangutans are 96.4% us so surely that is almost human trafficking?)Then surely this would curb this evil exploitation of Orangutans.

  5. Jacquie Lyles says :

    This is a tragedy that this little guy was taken from its birth mother in the first place. Now there will be years of taking care of him and teaching him how to be an orangutan and how to live in the forest. It is a huge commitment. A lot of years and a lot of money. I’m happy he is in capable hands. Just want all of the greedy people from poachers of animals and trees to the palm oil plantation owners to just stop there determination to kill off this beautiful critically endangered animal that so many of us love so much. Easier said…….

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