TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian government managed to repatriate 11 Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) smuggled from Thailand and Malaysia. The nine mammals from Malaysia and two others from Thailand arrived in Indonesia boarding two Garuda Indonesia aircraft on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.
The eleven great apes are temporarily put in the Warehouse Rush Handling, Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Cengkareng.
Prior to their return, they had undergone a series of health checks by health authorities of Malaysia and Thailand. They also had been declared physically healthy and passed laboratory tests, including Covid-19.
Director-General of Nature Conservation and Ecosystems Wiratno on behalf of Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Malaysia and Thailand governments, the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok for succeeding the repatriation of the endangered species.
The government plans to fly the orangutans to Kualanamu International Airport in Medan and Sultan Thaha Airport in Jambi on Friday, Dec. 18. They will undergo quarantine and rehabilitation under the supervision of the North Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA).