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[PRESS RELEASE] Indonesian Government and BOS Foundation, to Repatriate Baby Orangutan from Kuwait


Press Release by the Directorate General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation.

The Government of the Republic of Indonesia, through its Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the BOS Foundation repatriate a male baby orangutan from Kuwait to Indonesia.

- Taymur

Jakarta, April 17,2017The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) through its Directorate-General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation (KSDAE), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kemlu) via the Indonesian Embassy in Kuwait in cooperation with the Kuwait Zoo, together with the BOS Foundation are repatriating a baby orangutan that was illegally smuggled into Kuwait.

- Taymur 2a fix

Local authorities in Kuwait discovered the 2-year-old male orangutan, named Taymur, when he was spotted being driven around in a car by a Kuwait national. The Indonesian Embassy in Kuwait quickly responded to reports by coordinating with the Kemlu and the KLHK, which then contacted the BOS Foundation to assist with repatriating Taymur to Indonesia.

As an organization focused on the rescue, rehabilitation and release of orangutans, BOS Foundation has the experience and expertise to help repatriate smuggled orangutans like Taymur. BOS Foundation was actively involved in repatriating two other orangutans - Puspa and Moza - from Kuwait in July 2015. These two orangutans, and other orangutans repatriated from Thailand were victims of the illegal pet trade.

To ensure Taymur’s safety and welfare during the trip, and following a specially designed Standard Operating Proceedure (SOP), BOS Foundation flew one of its most experienced veterinarians to Kuwait to accompany Taymur. The flight carrying Taymur left Kuwait for Jakarta, with a stopover in Amsterdam making the total trip a little over 30 hours in duration.

PIC of the Directorate-General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Dr. Ir. Bambang Hendroyono, MM., said, “The Indonesian government collects data on wild orangutans illegally smuggled abroad, and we will use any means possible to return them safely to Indonesia. According to international law, smuggled wild animals, especially those that are protected, like orangutans, must be brought back to their home countries. Then, when the time is right, they should be released back to the wild. This is why we involved the BOS Foundation, with its vast experience in orangutan rescue, rehabilitation and reintroduction, to assist in the process of repatriating Taymur. We hope Taymur will someday be released to the forest.”

The illegal wildlife trade is a serious threat to orangutan survival after habitat destruction and hunting and comprises the world’s fourth-largest crime sector, after the drug trade, counter feiting and human trafficking (Global Risk Insights, 2017). Therefore, serious commitment and tangible action from those in authority is urgently needed to find a long-term solution to prohibit and prevent wildlife crime, and counter corruption linked to it. All stakeholders, including members of the public, must play their part. Orangutans need our help!

BOS Foundation CEO Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, said, “The Director-General of the KSDAE invited BOS Foundation to participate in helping repatriate Taymur from Kuwait. This has happened before, in the same country. This has got to stop, now. We should be able to detect and thwart attempts to smuggle baby orangutans, which are similar in size to a human baby. We fight against the illegal drug trade; why are we not fighting as hard against the illegal animal trade? We want to push for tighter surveillance of goods leaving the country. We are more than happy to help the government in its effort to return smuggled orangutans, but we must work harder to stop the continued and cruel illegal animal trade. The government needs to appoint more dedicated and professional customs officers at international gateways; airports and seaports. Law enforcement against violators needs to be stricter. We cannot underestimate the degree of damage this trade causes to nature. Nor can we ignore the financial costs involved in repatriation. And every time we manage to return an orangutan, we are still left with unanswered questions, like; ‘Have the perpetrators been brought to justice?’ This is something we all have to work on as a matter of urgency.”

BOS Foundation has declared 2017 the year of #OrangutanFreedom and is honoured to help Taymur gain his freedom. Orangutans are not meant to live in cages, nor endure a life in captivity: Orangutans should be living wild and free in their natural habitat, the forest. BOS Foundation is extremely grateful for the moral and financial support provided by BOS Germany and BOS Switzerland as our global partner organizations.

BOS Foundation expects commitment and real action from all stakeholders to help protect orangutans. The orangutan is an icon of Indonesia’s wildlife and a protected umbrella species that plays an instrumental role in forest regeneration. It is time for everyone to place more focus on orangutan survival and habitat conservation. Protecting our forests not only helps save orangutans from extinction, but also protects the vitally important ecosystems that provide us all with a better quality of life.

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Contact:

1. Desy Satya Chandradewi

Head of In-Situ Preservation Section

Directorate of Biodiversity Conservation

Email: desysatyac@gmail.com

2. Paulina Laurensia Ela

Communication Specialist BOSF

Email: pauline@orangutan.or.id

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Editor’s Note:

ABOUT THE BOS FOUNDATION

Founded in 1991, the BOS Foundation is a non-profit Indonesian organization dedicated to the conservation of Bornean orangutans and their natural habitats, working together with local communities, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, and international partner organizations.

The BOS Foundation currently has more than 700 orangutans in two rehabilitation centres, with support from 400 highly dedicated staff and experts in the fields of primatology, biodiversity, ecology, forest rehabilitation, agroforestry, community empowerment, communications, education, and orangutan welfare. For further information, please visit www.orangutan.or.id.

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