Connect with us

Phuket

Thailand returns rescued orangutans to Indonesia

Published

 on 

BANGKOK: A group of smuggled orangutans were returned from Thailand to Indonesia yesterday following years of diplomatic wrangling over who will care for them after the majority were discovered abandoned on a roadside.

Previous Thai governments sought compensation from Indonesia for the cost of housing and treating the 14 apes, but the junta government in Bangkok recently waived those demands and pushed ahead with the repatriation.

Indonesia sent a C130 aircraft to collect the animals, who were loaded in metal crates onto the plane before taking off from a military airport on the northern outskirts of Bangkok.

“Special care has been taken to ensure that the orangutans are ready to travel,” said Tuenchai Noochdumrong, director of Thailand’s wildlife conservation office, in a statement.

In Jakarta, preparations were under way to greet the returning animals.

“They will be greatly welcomed by the Indonesian government once they arrive back home. It is a homecoming,” Indonesian environment spokesman Eka W Sugiri told AFP, adding that the government was very serious about the conservation of orangutans.

Orangutans are native to the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra but are often illegally smuggled throughout Southeast Asia, either for private zoos or as pets.

The 14 apes, who travelled to Indonesia with their Thai keeper, will be taken to a safari park in West Java for examination before being reintroduced to the wild, said Mr Sugiri.

He added that officials still needed to determine whether the apes came from Borneo or Sumatra.

Despite their reputation as gentle animals, orangutans are not suitable pets. One Thai man lost a finger when one of the rescued apes bit it off.

“It happened [a] long time ago, not during the preparation of this repatriation,” a wildlife official told AFP.

“It was a male orangutan who is quite fierce,” he added. “They are six times stronger than human beings.”

Of the 14 orangutans, 11 were found abandoned in Phuket in 2010. One was rescued elsewhere while two were born in captivity to the rescued parents.

In recent months, many apes in Indonesia have fled their forest homes after illegal fires set to cheaply clear land for plantations.

The fires and resulting region-wide haze occurs to varying degrees each year during the dry season, although in recent days persistent rains have doused many blazes and cleared the air across vast stretches of Southeast Asia.

Earlier this week, an animal rights group said it had released back into the wild an orangutan and her baby who were attacked by angry villagers in West Kalimantan province after straying out of their forest home to escape the fires.

Some locals view the apes as pests and there has been an increase in human-animal conflict in the area.

— The Nation

 

Get more from The Thaiger

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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand10 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Storm Noru causing floods, death in northeast Thailand

Thailand10 hours ago

Airspace over Bangkok airport closed for airforce parade

Phuket10 hours ago

Four alleged investment scammers arrested in Phuket

Sponsored1 day ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

Thailand11 hours ago

1 year old child allegedly snatched while parents slept

Air Pollution11 hours ago

For health reasons – Bangkok’s proposed congestion charge

Bangkok11 hours ago

As rain pours down on northern Thailand, Bangkok ups its canal drainage

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Cannabis11 hours ago

Traditional Thai medicine clinics offering cannabis treatments in Thailand

Health12 hours ago

Fizz buzz – Will kratom drinks ever hit the spot?

Patong12 hours ago

Four suspects admit they assaulted US tourist in Patong

Hot News12 hours ago

Doctor’s “sorry, not sorry” attitude after alleged hit-and-run of students lands him in hot water

Thailand12 hours ago

Police ignore cheating antics of drunk Bangkok cabbie

Pattaya12 hours ago

Third baby elephant of the year born at Pattaya garden

Thailand13 hours ago

Thai doctor warns against eating bats after ‘bat hunter’ sells for 100 baht per kilo

World13 hours ago

Kamala Harris visits South Korea a day after North Korea fires missiles

Events14 hours ago

Spartan Race to hit Phuket in November

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Trending