Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket orangutan “disappears’ ahead of police raid

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: A 13-year-old orangutan that conservationists were fighting to free from Phuket Zoo has gone missing, confirmed Wildlife Friends of Thailand (WFFT).

“Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division (NRECD) of the Royal Thai Police and Department of National Parks (DNP) agreed to investigate the case of Milo, agreeing to raid the zoo this morning,” Edwin Weik, the founder and director of WFFT, told the Phuket Gazette. “DNP regional wildlife office found that Milo was probably illegally being kept at the Phuket Zoo, as there was no orangutan legally registered at the location.”

Police officers arrived at the zoo this morning only to find that Milo was gone, said Mr Weik.

“All her photos with tourists were also removed from the zoo; they were even deleted from the Phuket Zoo’s website,” he said.

“The owner of the zoo told the group of police and witnesses that he had released Milo into the Khao Phrateaw Non-hunting area, a small patch of rain forest on Phuket. He further claimed that is were he found her two years ago.”

Pressure on the zoo about Milo began to mount after local animal-rights activist Vicki Kiely garnered more than 8,000 signatures on the online petition ‘Save Milo’ on Change.org (petition here).

“She [Milo] still has love and light in her, and deserves a far better life than the one she is living. Please sign to help us get Milo out of there,” the petition concludes in English and Thai.

Ms Kiely had been working on Milo’s case for about 6 months prior to getting enough momentum to persuade officials to raid the zoo.

“From what I know, she’s been in the zoo her whole life. She can’t survive in the wild in Phuket, or anywhere,” said Ms Kiely. “She needed to be saved from the inhuman conditions of her housing at the zoo, but not like this.”

At this point, the last publicly confirmed date of Milo’s presence at the zoo is an Instagram photo of Milo with a tourist. The photo was taken on February 15.

Today, Ms Kiely drove to the Phang Nga Wildlife Reserve, as well as the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project in Phuket in hopes of finding Milo.

“They said that they have not seen her at all, but they will keep an eye out for her,” said Ms Kiely

DNP officers have been ordered to track down Milo, confirmed Metee Meechai, director of the DNP Region 5.

“Orangutans are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). We have officers investigating this case,” said Mr Metee.

The Phuket Gazette contacted the Phuket Zoo. However, employees declined to comment and denied having contact information for the zoo manger.

“We are now doing all we can to locate and rescue Milo,” Mr Weik said.

The case of Milo is not the first of illegally smuggled and exploited orangutans on Phuket, reported WFFT in it’s statement titled: Milo the Orangutan is Gone!

A group of smuggled orangutans were returned from Thailand to Indonesia in 2015 following years of diplomatic wrangling over who will care for them after the majority were discovered abandoned on a roadside (story here).

“12 orangutans were found in another sub-standard zoo on the island in 2008, and after many months of campaigning, the orangutans disappeared only to be found in cages on the highway between Phuket and Phang Nga Province in February 2009,” said the WFFT statement. “The owners were never charged with illegal possession or trade in endangered wildlife.”

— Chutharat Plerin

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

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

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Dole pineapple factory has 34 new Covid-19 cases, 413 total

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Chinese Sinovac vaccine debuts in Singapore to high demand

Drugs5 hours ago

Drug smuggler caught in Kalasin with 300 kg of marijuana

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

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

Politics6 hours ago

Amendment to reform Constitution rejected by Parliament

Medical7 hours ago

Gender Health Clinic opens in Bangkok for transgender needs

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

30 million baht added to vaccine side effects compensation fund

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Plan for 16-week gap between AstraZeneca vaccines dropped

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

CCSA: 120 day reopening will proceed with conditions

Tourism12 hours ago

Sandbox latest, CCSA says all regions reopening must reach 70% local vaccination

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 3,667 new infections and 32 deaths

Politics16 hours ago

Thamanat elected to role of head ‘fixer’ in Palang Pracharat party

Expats1 day ago

List: China has over 50% of all foreign-owned condos in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Government plans 10 million vaccines for July

World1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Vaccine deaths investigation, PM heads to Phuket, BMA extends vendor licences | June 18

Thailand1 day ago

1 million AstraZeneca doses arrive, Anutin says “more” on the way

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Trending