Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Letters: Trades of endangered animals

Letters: Trades of endangered animals

Tue, 02/23/2010 11:29 AM | Reader's Forum

Feb. 29 marked the 20th anniversary of the confiscation of six baby orangutans at Bangkok airport. They had been stuffed into sealed crates labeled “Birds” at Singapore airport and flown to Bangkok and were only found when the plane that was to carry them from Bangkok to Russia was delayed, and the drugged babies woke up and started crying.

So Thai authorities x-rayed the crates and saw the profiles of six baby orangutans and two siamangs and seized them on Feb. 20, 1990. Three of the babies had been shipped upside-down and later died. Matthew Block, the American dealer involved, was sent to prison for 13 months after a long battle by the International Primate Protection League.

Criminals from many nations were involved (Germany, Thailand, the Netherlands, Singapore, the United States, plus the mysterious Indonesian who is not that mysterious to many who tracked this case!)

There will be no solution to Indonesia’s wildlife smuggling problem unless and until the smugglers are sent to Indonesia’s most horrible prisons for very long “holidays”.

Wiping out species that have taken millions of years to evolve is a crime against God and our children and grandchildren.

Shirley McGreal
Summerville SC, US