Connect with us


Thailand sends smuggled orangutans back to Indonesia

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: Nation Thailand

After being smuggled through Southeast Asia, seized by Thai border officials, and then cared for at a Thailand wildlife centre for 3 years, a pair of endangered Sumatran orangutans are being sent back to Indonesia.

Back in June 2017, border officials seized the orangutans, Ung Ing and Nathalie, from smugglers at a customs checkpoint in the southern province Songkhla, near Malaysia. After being seized, the orangutans, now 4 years old, were sent to a wildlife sanctuary in Ratchaburi.

Yesterday, the orangutans were transported from the Khao Prathapchang wildlife sanctuary in Ratchaburi to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. The primates were cleared for Covid-19 before the flight and fed bananas and green apples. The orangutans will stay at a rehabilitation centre in Indonesia’s Jambi province on Sumatra Island.

Deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Prakit Wongsriwattanakul, says this is the fifth time since 2006 that Thailand has returned orangutans, that were seized from smugglers, back to Indonesia in a collaborative crackdown on illegal wildlife trade. Altogether, 71 orangutans have been sent back to Indonesia from Thailand.

SOURCES: Reuters |Bangkok Post

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.



  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    What happened?
    Did the Thais become tired of feeding them when there were no tourists paying to see them?
    That likely reason, otherwise they would have sent them back a month after they arrived.
    Thais usually an ulterior motive.

    • Avatar


      Friday, December 18, 2020 at 11:29 pm

      Oh come on Toby… at least they cared for those orangutans for the time being… because either way they would have just let those smugglers pass through or without being caught and still makes money by sell them… I just saying 🙂

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 5:53 am

      3 years is a long time, but I guess the apes had to wait for the legal process against the smugglers to be finalised. I hope they will be happy in their new home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 seconds ago

Monday Covid Update: 17,970 new cases and 178 deaths

Phuket10 mins ago

Phuket sealed off from tomorrow in bid to curb virus spread, save sandbox

Coronavirus Vaccines36 mins ago

Bangkok vaccination centres shut down at weekend due to vaccine shortages

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand conservation adds 17 rare Indochinese tigers this year

Pattaya7 hours ago

Man falls off 4th story roof only breaking arm and chin

Thailand11 hours ago

Family finds long lost man after he is rescued from 17 metre well

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

16 new dark red provinces and restrictions extended to August 16

Hua Hin14 hours ago

Hua Hin Maya Club execs get 3 months for superspreader event

Myanmar16 hours ago

Thai candidate selected as ASEAN envoy to Myanmar

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Foreigners able to register on vaccine site despite data leaks, glitches

Thailand17 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 18,027 infections, provincial totals

Thailand1 day ago

Covid UPDATE Sunday: 18,027 infections, expat vaccine registration

Transport1 day ago

August flight plans: Bangkok Airways, Nok Air, Thai Lion

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

New site for foreigner vaccine; Mor Prom deletes appointments

Politics1 day ago

Facebook fake news post suggesting a coup faces prosecution

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8