"Bring me home..." Repatriation of orangutans from Bangkok Safari World

  • by: Paul Link
  • recipient: H.E. Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand Prime Minister, Government House
With this petition we try to save the lifes of hundreds of orangutans held in Thailand illegally
H.E. Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra,
Thailand Prime Minister,
Government House,
Thanon Nakhon Fathom,
Dusit Bangkok 10300,

Dear Sirs,

RE Repatriation of orangutans from Bangkok Safari World

We are writing to strongly request the repatriation of the suspected illegally held orangutans from the Bangkok Safari World, as well as other locations in Thailand to their original home in Indonesia.
It became all too apparent to Thai and Indonesian government officials during visits to the park in September 2003 and July 2004 that many of the 115 orangutans present were kept in unsuitable, cramped and unhealthy conditions and were not all registered with the authorities. The reason for the original visit was to investigate the orangutan kick boxing matches, held to amuse visitors to the park, on the grounds of animal cruelty. The orangutan is one of our closest living relatives and is an extremely intelligent species which should not be exploited for amusement. Its exploitation could also contribute to more people becoming interested in acquiring other orangutans.
Although Safari World assures that the 115 orangutans are a result of their successful breeding program, the high numbers of young individuals, compared with the low number of adults present, we believe, make this impossible to believe. The DNA test results on the orangutans from the park have not all been completed, but it is believed by many that the orangutans are from Indonesian Borneo and not the result of captive breeding. All the suspected illegally held orangutans at this park and others in Thailand should therefore be returned to the wild in Indonesia. This is part of the protocol described in the detailed rules and regulations of CITES, and as Thailand is a signatory they should adhere to this.
The return of the orangutans to their country of origin should not be hampered or put on hold because of bureaucracy. The Indonesian government is backing the return of the orangutans and the rehabilitation that the orangutans would have to go through before being released into the wild has already been offered by a number of centers in Indonesia. The funds required to translocate them have also already been confirmed. We urgently request that the Thai government take into account the international pressure and understand that the continued confinement of these orangutans is against the CITES agreement and international law. The repatriation of these orangutans would also be a huge sign that the illegal trade in endangered wildlife is not accepted and will not under any circumstances be tolerated.
We hope to hear the news that the Thai government has agreed to relocate the orangutans from Safari World, as well as any other illegally held orangutans in the country soon. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
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