Petition Closed

The Medan Zoo in Sumatra has recently acquired two new residents – two male orangutans, confiscated from the illegal pet trade by the government conservation agency (BKSDA) in Aceh province.

Both orangutans were being illegally held in captivity in Aceh. One of the animals, named Pongky, was being kept by a high-ranking police officer. The Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) attempted to rescue Pongky in July, but when the police officer refused to give him up, they were forced to go to the government for support. Instead of placing Pongky in a rehabilitation programme to one day return to the wild, BKSDA Aceh have sent him, and another orangutan, to the Medan Zoo. The orangutans have simply swapped one life behind bars for another.

According to the Indonesian national Strategy and Action Plan for Orangutan Conservation, any orangutans confiscated from the illegal pet trade should enter a rehabilitation programme and be returned to the wild. Both orangutans should be immediately transferred to the Sumatran orangutan rehabilitation centre, rather than being caged in the Medan Zoo for the rest of their lives.

Moreover, under Indonesian law, it is illegal to keep, kill, harm, transport or trade any protected species, including the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan. However, BKSDA Aceh has failed to take any legal action against the ‘owners’ of these two orangutans.

The Indonesian government must enforce its own laws and regulations - the orangutans must be immediately transferred to the orangutan rehabilitation centre to be given a second chance at life in the wild, and the individuals who were keeping them as pets must be prosecuted.

Letter to
BKSDA Aceh
Director General, Dept of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHKA) Ir. Darori, MM
Secretary of Directorate General, Department of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHKA) Ir. Hartono
and 5 others
Director of Biodiversity Conservation Dr. Ir. Novianto Bambang W,M.Si
Chairman of Indonesian Zoo and Aquarium Association Dr Rahmat Syah
Head of Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) of North Sumatra Ir. Istanto
Head of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) of Aceh province, Sumatra Ir Amon Zamora
Chairman of Indonesian Orangutan Forum (FORINA) Herry Djoko Susilo
BKSDA Aceh recently confiscated two orangutans from the illegal pet trade, and sent them to the Medan Zoo.

According to the Indonesian national Strategy and Action Plan for Orangutan Conservation (Regulation of the Minister of Forestry No. P 53/Menhut-IV/2007), any orangutans confiscated from the illegal pet trade should enter a rehabilitation programme and be returned to the wild. Both orangutans should be immediately transferred to the Sumatran orangutan rehabilitation centre, rather than being caged in the Medan Zoo for the rest of their lives.

Moreover, under Indonesian law (Law No. 5 of 1990 on the conservation of natural resources and ecosystems), it is illegal to keep, kill, harm, transport or trade any protected species, including the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan. However, BKSDA Aceh has failed to take any legal action against the ‘owners’ of these two orangutans.

The Indonesian government must enforce its own laws and regulations - the orangutans must be immediately transferred to the orangutan rehabilitation centre to be given a second chance at life in the wild, and the individuals who were keeping them as pets must be prosecuted.