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Zoo association urges endangered animals be repatriated from Malaysia

Sep 29. 2018
Portuguese street artist Vhils chisels an orangutan’s face onto the side of a building at the Majestik traffic circle in Medan in March. Sumatran orangutans were among the animals that were intended to be smuggled to Thailand.
Portuguese street artist Vhils chisels an orangutan’s face onto the side of a building at the Majestik traffic circle in Medan in March. Sumatran orangutans were among the animals that were intended to be smuggled to Thailand.
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By The Jakarta Post
Asia News Network
Jakarta

4,265 Viewed

The Indonesian Zoo Association (PKBSI) has urged the government to soon repatriate Indonesia's animals -- including endangered ones -- from Malaysia after the latter's authorities thwarted an attempt to smuggle the animals into Thailand last week.

The animals comprise two Sumatran orangutans, two cenderawasih birds endemic to Papua, two cockatoos, 21 eclectus parrots (bayan nuri), 48 saltwater crocodiles and 355 sugar gliders.

The animals were intended to be smuggled by boat by three Indonesian sailors to Thailand through the waters of Malaysia. The attempt, however, was thwarted by Malaysia's customs officials around Langkawi and Kuala Perlis waters.

All of the animals are currently at the Perlis Department of Wildlife and National Parks.

"The government must bring the animals back and take them to our conservation centers for treatment, before being released back into nature," PKBSI chairman Rahmat Shah said recently. He added that similar smuggling attempts often occurred because of the high demand for endangered species on the black market.

Rahmat went on by saying that the market value of the foiled smuggling operation could be up to 500,000 ringgit (US$120,757).

An Environment and Forestry Ministry official, Edward Sembiring, said separately that he would cooperate with related parties to prevent similar incidents from happening again. "The smugglers must face strict sanctions to ensure there is a deterrent effect," said Edward.

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