On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, Mother orangutans are being murdered so their babies can be sold as illegal pets.
Even though having an orangutan as a pet is illegal in Indonesia there are some who keep them in cages at their homes as a ‘status symbol’ – awful.
It’s been revealed that there have been no prosecutions for people keeping the animals as pet’s, and it’s being blamed on ‘people of power’ having the upper hand.
In the Indonesian Leuser rainforest, Orangutans are said to be increasingly vulnerable due to habitat destruction over the last two decades, such things as palm oil, infrastructure projects and farmland are constantly destroying the forest.
Black market traders have been taking advantage of this by slaughtering orangutan mothers to steal their babies.
Rescue charities in Sumatra are now working to rescue these stolen babies, and to hold those who keep them as pets to account.
A new story has emerged about ‘Bom Bom’, a young orangutan who was sold on the black market after his mother was murdered.
A Police officer and his wife, keepers of Bom Bom, kept him in a cage for three years, allowing him out only on weekends.
The police officer’s wife shows visible distress as Bom Bom is taken away, describing the wild animal as her ‘child’.
Bom Bom too is also frightened when he is taken away, but is later seen looking more relaxed.
Dr Ian Singleton, from the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme said:
“A mother orangutan will carry an infant around for almost 24 hours a day for several years so there’s no way she is going to voluntarily hand over that infant or allow any one to take it unless she’s killed.”
“She’s always going to defend that infant with her life and unfortunately that’s what usually happens. All the orangutans that are here … their mothers almost certainly killed.”
According to Save The Orangutan, an estimated 6,000 great apes are captured or slaughtered annually due to those who sell them as pets on the black market.