Your five minutes to help rescue orangutans


Modified 25 Feb 2010, 9:52 am

First some brief new for your readers. To cut a long story short, 11 wild captive baby orangutans (mothers killed) have been illegally held captive in Thailand for almost a year now (see news story below).

As a result of intervention by Nature Alert the authorities in Indonesia until very recently showed interest in recovering these NONE orangutans. But now, either they have lost interest or they are doing a deal with a zoo to take them. This Instead of these orangutans going to a proper rescue centre and eventually back to their forest.

They are destined for the zoo/pet trade unless we can also stop this from happening. The photo shows  'Evie'. Two months old. Mother believed shot and killed. Unless we can save her, this week Evie could also be shipped out to another country by corrupt officials. Those now in Thailand were once like her. See here for more details of Evie.

I urge your readers to write today as per the the example below (but feel free to use your own words if your want) and send separate e-mails to the addresses shown below together with the news article. Past experience shows that this can be very effective.

The orangutans are now at a government centre, and not the wildlife one mentioned in the newspaper report. I do hope your readers may be able to spare five minutes to do this as these orangutans could easily 'disappear' overnight into the zoo or pet trade, and then it will be too late to save them.

Example of letter to be sent with the news article.  

Dear Ambassador,

Please can you tell me when the orangutans mentioned in the newspaper article below, will be returned to a rescue centre (not a zoo) in Indonesia for eventual rehabilitation back to the forest?

It has been at least 12 long months these poor, illegally captured and imported orangutans have been held captive in Thailand.

They have suffered the killing of their mothers, the loss of their forest home, and 12 months in small cages. Don't you think it is time they were now helped by your government as well as CITES?

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

(Your Name)

(News Article)

11 Orangutans rescued from private zoo

The Nation

Published on February 23, 2009

Officers raid Crocodile and Tiger World in Phuket, where animals were being held illegally

In a raid that has only recently been reported, a team of National Parks Department officers and wildlife activists on February 5 raided a private zoo in Phuket City and rescued 11 young orangutans being held there illegally to serve as a tourist attraction.

The successful raid followed several reports from tourists to the non-governmental Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) that ten young orangutans were on display at Crocodile and Tiger World, a private zoo located in Phuket City.

The zoo also features more than 10,000 crocodiles, Bengal tigers, ostriches and gibbons.

Attractions at the zoo allow people to bottle feed baby tigers for a small fee and watch an attractive young woman stick her head into the mouth of an enormous crocodile.

WFFT secretary-general Edwin Wiek said the raid followed several tip-offs from tourists aware of the plight of the highly endangered orangutans. They sent in pictures and video clips of the primates, which Wiek used to convince officials to organise a January 22 raid on the zoo.

Unfortunately, the first raid was unsuccessful because the media leaked news of the impending raid in time for the zoo owner to hide the apes.

In the successful second raid, carried out on February 5, authorities found 11 orangutans ranging in age from less than two years old to about five years in a small stock room, Wiek said.

All 11 animals are now being given medical checks at the WFFT's Rescue Centre in Ratchaburi, he said.

‘Two of them are actually quite sick, having trouble with parasites. The other ones weren't fed the right foods and have some bad dental problems. I don't think they will go back to Indonesia soon - or even if they'll go back - because in Indonesia there is so much trouble with the animals in captivity. But at least this zoo is not going to exploit them any longer or import .

Please send separately to these addresses:

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

and do copy one of your e-mails also to [email protected] who works for a UN organisation (Cities) whose representatives in Thailand and Indonesia are supposed to help but do nothing.

These websites - (1) , (2) and (3) have forms onto which you can cut and paste your letter and news article:

Thank you.

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