Two baby orangutans, suspected to be smuggled, rescued in Assam district

Updated on Sep 27, 2022 03:05 PM IST

Divisional forest officer of Cachar district, Tejas Mariswami said these orangutans are found in Sumatra island of Indonesia

The rescued orangutans are of young age and the forest department is taking care of their health first. (HT photo)
The rescued orangutans are of young age and the forest department is taking care of their health first. (HT photo)
ByBiswa Kalyan Purkayastha

Two baby orangutans, suspected to be smuggled from Indonesia, were rescued in Assam’s Cachar district.

They were recovered from Lailapur checkpost near Assam-Mizoram interstate border on Tuesday morning, police said.

Officer incharge of Dholai police station, Monoj Baruah said that at around 8pm on Tuesday, police officials noticed two abandoned boxes near interstate border checkpost.

“After opening the boxes, we found that two Chimpanzee-like creatures kept inside and we informed the forest department immediately,” Baruah said.

He said that two persons were carrying these chained creatures in a car from Mizoram’s side but they ran away after seeing police at the check post.

Also Read: Wallaby, rare tortoise and exotic monkeys smuggled from Myanmar seized in Assam

“We couldn’t identify the persons and vehicle but further search operations are going on,” he said.

Divisional forest officer of Cachar district, Tejas Mariswami said these orangutans are found in Sumatra island of Indonesia.

“They are not natives of Assam or Mizoram, so we are suspecting that the creatures were smuggled from outside countries,” he said.

The DFO informed that the rescued orangutans are of young age and the forest department is taking care of their health first.

“After initial treatment, we’ll try to send them to Guwahati Zoo. We cannot release them in the forest because they are not local inhabitants,” Mariswami added.

The superintendent of police of Cachar district Numal Mahatta said there is an international racket involved in this smuggling and they use Indian land to take these animals to international markets.

“The consignments come from Indonesia, they use a route through Myanmar and India to take the rare species to international markets. The price of each animal goes up to 40crore, according to our sources,” Mahatta said.

In a similar incident, Mizoram police on Sunday arrested four Assam residents for smuggling six gibbons and three small monkeys. The animals were kept inside a Maruti Wagon-R, according to the Mizoram police.

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