June 30, 2015
INR 5,00,000 Reward Offered for Baby Orangutan Smuggling Case in Andhra Pradesh
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the HSI/India tip line +91 7674-922044
Humane Society International/India is offering a reward of up to 5,00,000 INR for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the gang responsible for the smuggling of two baby orangutans in Andhra Pradesh, as reported by newspapers.
The Case: According to news reports, on June 17, 2015, a car carrying caged animals entered Andhra Pradesh through the Odisha border at a toll gate in Vishakapatnam. On a tip off from the Eluru Police, the Krishna District Forest Officials came across the gang transporting two caged baby orangutans; but failed to intercept the vehicle. The Krishna District Police finally intercepted the vehicle along with the gang of smugglers at Jaggaihpet and handed them over to the West Godavari Police for further investigation. The Chebrolu Police Station took the gang into custody and registered an FIR on 19 June 2015. They could not immediately identify the animals and sent pictures to the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department as well as the Wildlife Institute of India for further clarifications. However, in the time taken to relay information between these authorities, two of the five member gang escaped with the animals. The suspects are absconding and the animals are yet to be rescued.
N.G Jayasimha, managing director of HSI/India said, “It is a matter of grave concern that these young animals have disappeared from under police custody. Since baby orangutans in the wild are dependent on their mothers for around eight years of age, these animals need to be brought into custody at the earliest and given proper veterinary care. Further, any leads in this matter could help the authorities uncover a possible nexus of illegal international wildlife smugglers in the country. Hence, we hope that this reward will urge anyone with information about this case to come forward and help trace the culprits and the animals.”
International wildlife trade: Orangutans - Asia’s only great apes other than humans – are fast on the decline owing to habitat loss and degradation, hunting for bush meat, and collection of live infants for the pet trade.. Two species of orangutans are found in Indonesia and Malaysia – Sumatran and Bornean. Both species are listed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The Sumatran orangutan is the more endangered of the two. Orangutans are an easy target for hunters, being large and slow moving.
In the recent past, HSI/India has seen an increase in the sale of exotic wildlife through various online forums and e-commerce websites. HSI/India offers rewards in animal welfare cases across the country with an aim to bring about awareness amongst the citizens of India and strengthen the implementation of laws against animal abuse and illegal wildlife trade.
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