According to Edwin Wiek (Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand), at a checkpoint in Southern Thailand authorities found two baby orangutans amongst other wildlife. Illegally imported from Malaysia.
Thai wildlife officers have arrested a Malaysian man attempting to smuggle the baby orangutans, 51 tortoises and six raccoons into Thailand across its southern border, officials said on Thursday. The animals were packed into plastic boxes and suitcases loaded into Ismail Bin Ahmad’s car, according to AFP Bangkok.
Ismail Bin Ahmad was stopped on Wednesday at a border checkpoint in Thailand’s southern Songkhla province.
Ismail Bin Ahmad said, “he was hired to transport the animals from Perlis state in Malaysia to Hat Yai in Thailand for 1,000 baht,” Prach Kongthong, a wildlife officer manning the checkpoint, told AFP.
There were a total of 51 reptiles rescued and most were the endangered Indian Star Tortoise, who are stolen from the wild in South Asia because of their beautiful shells and sold in the illegal black market pet trade.
Thank god that the two baby orangutans and other endangered species were found in time, as the two orangutans were less than six months old and need their mother’s milk to survive. Sadly many orangutan mothers are killed as a result of the illegal pet trade so that wildlife smugglers can steal their babies to sell on the black market. The two babies will be transferred to a local shelter who will assess their health and find the best wildlife refuge to rehabilitate the babies.
The illagel wildlife pet trade must end and there are a lot of amazing organizations out there raising awareness to save the lives of our wildlife and endangered species around the world!
Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand and Wildlife Friends International are starting a new campaign to create more awareness about the illegal wildlife trade. Three posters were designed by a Thai student to help spread the message.
WFFT is asking permission from authorities and local businesses to present these posters on the islands of Koh Samui and Phuket and other places where wildlife is often exploited by tourists. Miss Soontaree Jaiman from the Visual Communication Design Department of Design Poh-Chang Academy of Arts designed this amazing campaign to save wildlife and keep them in the wild.