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14 orangutans smuggled illegally into Thailand were taken back to Indonesia on Thursday. Twelve of the orangutans were smuggled into Thailand as babies and rescued seven years ago before being taken to a wildlife breeding centre in Ratchaburi. The two other great apes were born at the centre.
Great apes are often poached from Indonesian forests for food, or to obtain infants for domestic and international trade, and some for traditional medicine. Between 2006 and 2007 Thailand has returned 52 smuggled orangutans to Indonesia.
The latest 14 were sent home via Don Muang airport on Wednesday, during the operation one tore off the finger of an officer. Once home they will spend 60 days in quarantine before being move to a rescue centre in Borneo.
Edwin Weik of the WFFT posted – “All set and ready to go tomorrow! 14 orangutans to go home, it doesnt stop just there, i promise!” on his Facebook account prior to the journey.