Target: Balai Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam (BKSDA); Nature Conservation Agencey of Indonesia
Goal: Hold orangutan owner accountable for illegal purchase of baby orangutan and for keeping her as his pet
Anyin was a baby orangutan from Borneo that died a year and a half after her mother was killed by poachers and someone bought her as a pet for $140 U.S. dollars through an illegal pet trade. Her owner gave her to the Nature Conservation Agency of Indonesia after she got sick. Anyin’s species is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List for the 25 most endangered primates in the world. In Borneo, it is illegal to catch, keep, or kill an orangutan. However, many people guilty of these crimes are not punished for their actions. Persons who are caught keeping orangutans as pets should not be excused from their crimes.
Keeping baby orangutans almost always leads to their death because the young orangutans do not have immune systems capable of fighting infectious diseases, which are easy to catch from humans. They need their mother’s milk for nutrition and if deprived of this food source, they can suffer malnutrition and growth problems. Also, the baby orangutans are often locked or chained in small spaces.
Anyin was most likely captured because her habitat was destroyed by deforestation. Poachers killed her mother and sold Anyin as a pet. She died at the International Animal Rescue center in Borneo because of typhoid fever that she contracted from her owner. Anyin’s owner and the poachers responsible for killing her mother should be punished for contributing to the growing death toll of a fragile and highly endangered species.
Dear Nature Conservation Agency of Indonesia,
Your Orangutan Rehabilitation Team worked hard to save the life of Anyin, a baby orangutan that was kept as a pet and brought to your center when she caught typhoid fever. Her owner turned her in because he recognized that Anyin was sick and would most likely die. He paid $140 U.S. dollars for Anyin, which is less than one would pay for some top selling brands of athletic shoes. No one should ever put a price tag on the life of one of the most endangered primate species in the world, but the poachers who killed Anyin’s mother did. So did the man who called Anyin his pet for eighteen months.
Please work with Borneo authorities to punish the man who bought Anyin through illegal pet trade instead of reporting Anyin’s poachers to local police. Doing so will help stop more orangutans from being poached and sold by wildlife traffickers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Google Images