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Illegal orangutan trader prosecuted
Date:2/23/2012

orangutans. Though the road to full rehabilitation might still be a long one, Julius is making excellent progress and is expected to be released back into the wild in the future.

The sentence reflects an increase in activity and action to combat the illegal wildlife trade in Indonesia in recent years. In the last two years there have been more than 20 arrests for illegally possessing or trading protected wildlife, including the critically endangered Sumatran tiger and pangolin.

The prosecution is in full compliance with the Indonesian Government's own National Orangutan Conservation Strategy and Action plan, launched in 2007.

The majority of illegal pet orangutans are a byproduct of forest clearance for palm oil plantations and of conflicts between farmers and orangutans that raid crops in converted agricultural areas. In most cases, they are not hunted specifically for food or trade in Sumatra, but are more "refugees" from forests that no longer exist.

Conservationists believe Julius's mother was killed at the time of his capture. Relatively few orangutans are actively traded in Sumatra, but the SOCP and PHKA still confiscate around 30 illegal pets each year, whose mothers have been killed.

The Head of Natural Resources Conservancy Agency (BBKSDA) North Sumatra, Arief Tongkagie, said: "Based on the successful completion of this case, our hope is that in the future more people will be willing to report crimes against orangutans".

According to Panut, Chairman of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Forum (FOKUS): "Increased efforts to curb crimes against orangutans will provide a deterrent effect to traders."

The Wildlife Conservation Society is actively trying to reduce the damaging impact of the illegal wildlife trade.

"We commend Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry's Directorate-General for Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHKA) for taking a hard stance on wildlife trade, which is threatening to destroy the country's natu
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Contact: Stephen Sautner
ssautner@wcs.org
718-220-3682
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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