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Edwin Week helps run a sanctuary for orangutans in Thailand. The orangutans were taken from their mothers as babies and sold as exotic pets. The longer they are in captivity, the harder it is to return them to the wild.
Week runs wildlife protection agencies throughout Asia. He has been jailed numerous times for attempting to stop animal trafficking, a multi-million-dollar industry in Asia. Many orangutans he returns to Indonesia end up in poorly run government facilities.
Smugglers typically kill the orangutan mothers to take their babies. A former smuggler sold three babies a week to a middleman for over $2,000 each. Corrupt officials at airports and transit stations help get the babies out of Indonesia.
Wild orangutans only live in Malaysia and Indonesia; they are threatened by habitat loss and the illegal pet trade. A sanctuary in Indonesia works to rehabilitate baby orangutans and return them to the wild.
The Center for Orangutan Protection has a pre-release island, where adults live until they are fully matured. The sanctuary prepares to release an adult into the wild.
Credits: The Baby Trade
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A cruel trade is tearing baby orangutans from their jungle homes to be sold abroad. Samantha Hawley gets a smuggler’s story — and meets the warriors risking their lives to save the great apes from extinction.
Length: 30 minutes
Copyright date: ©2018
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