Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) has reported an incredible rescue of two baby orangutans and dozens of turtles that were recently smuggled from Malaysia. Authorities found the animals alongside other protected wildlife during a routine check on a vehicle in the Thai southern province of Songkhla.

The driver of the car, a Malay man, now arrested by police, claimed that he had taken the animals over the border from Malaysia and was hired to deliver them to an address in Hat Yai city.

The turtles found in the vehicle were confiscated and sent to a government breeding center.


The little orangutans were handed over to the Songkhla Zoo.

According to WFFT, smuggling of orangutans from Indonesia and Malaysia into Thailand has been on the rise recently. The shocking increase in numbers can be attributed to the rising trend of keeping wild animals as pets. Orangutans are also being smuggled to Laos and China where they are used as entertainment in zoos.

WFFT has credible information that the rescued orangutans and turtles were destined to arrive in Bangkok. The turtles would be sold at Jatujak weekend market and in pet shops.

The orangutans, on the other hand, were possibly ordered by wealthy people to be kept as pets at their homes…



It should be an obvious fact that orangutans do not belong in our homes, kept as pets. So different from cats or dogs, orangutans are wild creatures designed to live in their natural habitat. Even in situations where the people willing to take care of them have very good intentions, life as a pet is just no way to live for those animals. They will never be truly themselves or really happy while living in captivity – captivity of any kind.

Illegal wildlife trade is now one of the main threats to orangutans as a species – alongside the dramatic loss of habitat, a result of the palm oil industry.

To learn more about Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, click here.

All image source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook