Calls for closure of Phuket Zoo

PHUKET: Milo, the female orangutan at the center of a wildlife furore, is recovering in the Phang Nga Wildlife Nursery Station after being rescued late on Saturday (story here).

Wildlife activist Edwin Wiek said yesterday that Milo was ‘a bit weak, but in good spirits’ after being dumped in the jungle while still in a cage.

More than 12,000 people signed a petition organized by calling for ‘Help for Milo’. Mr Wiek, from the Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand (WFFT), said his group would pay for Milo to live at a national parks facility in Ratcha Buri and is expected to be shifted there shortly.

Animal lovers were calling for the closure of Phuket Zoo after learning about the conditions Milo was kept in at the zoo. Orangutans are protected and cannot be kept without a licence under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

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The Phuket Zoo was found to be in illegal possession of Milo for the past two years. When wildlife officials moved in to confiscate the animal, zoo officials said they had released her into the surrounding jungle (story here).

“Not only were they keeping an endangered animal without a licence, they released an invasive species into a protected jungle without permission,” Mr Wiek told DPA. He had feared the animal – kept in captivity for a long time – may not survive in the wild.

— The Nation

Phuket News

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