No 320 Wildlife Trade News 30th January 2015

Another dose of bad news about poaching and related wildlife and environmental crimes

in the spotlight today ……………………

Endangered Bonobo Chimp Imported to Armenia Goes Missing: Preliminary Investigation Drags On. (Another matter CITES will no doubt turn a blind eye to.) extract: ArturAfrikyan, first deputy to the president of the State Revenue Committee, provided us with a list of the animals imported to and exported from Armenia between 2010 and 2013 with CITES permits. According to that list, in addition to two bonobos (Pan panicus) imported to Armenia in 2011, another two were imported in 2012 and not exported. Furthermore, four Common Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) listed as “endangered” and four Diana Monkeys (Cercopithecusdiana) listed as “vulnerable” were also imported to Armenia with the same CITES 2012 permits. None of these animals have been exported.

Do you believe this illustrates the CITES secretariat and Standing Committee attitudes

towards a lot of countries breaking the convention?

How about China? Is there another country treated more leniently by CITES?

No 320 Wildlife Trade News 30th January 2015

Crying baby orangutan Budi receives loving care after suffering year of neglect. INDONESIA. (NA comment: Recommended viewing. Another victim of the palm oil industry)

Rescued Baby Orangutan Shines Light on Cruel, Illegal Pet Trade [Video]

Commentary: Modifying Indonesia’s Conservation Methods. If conservation by the authorities alone doesn’t work well, why not develop new strategies in which the role of more competent groups is recognized?

Indonesia Celebrates Primate Day 2015 at 50 Scenes!

Vietnamese police find 20 dried primates after pulling over bus

Some of 20 primate carcasses confiscated from a bus in Hanoi on January 28. Photo credit: news.zing

KP govt imposes ban on partridge shooting

Illegal Wood Found Near Military Police Base. CAMBODIA

Kenya: Britain Gives Sh150 Million for Wildlife Protection

Three NY Zoos Named Among "Worst for Elephants"

India’s 1st fenced elephant sanctuary comes up near Bengaluru Read more at:


U.S. Poachers Contribute to the Illegal Wildlife Trade. What You Need to Know to Help Stop This

THAI joins campaign against illegal trade of ivory on all its flights

Corrupt Phuket officials paid B700mn for parkland, Isoc told – See more at:

Tanzania: Hunting Blocks Ownership to End in 2018

Kenya Turns to Assisted Breeding to Save Rhino Subspecies

Clooney Project Fights Elephant Slaughter by Christian Militia

Transportation and logistics sector lends support to global efforts tackling wildlife crime

Namibia: Rogue cops dent police image

Wild animal cubs growing trend among Turkey’s rich kids

Captive elephant welfare panels to be set up. INDIA

Three held, 80 red sanders logs seized

Raid on wildlife panel member’s house. INDIA

Sumatran community takes charge to protect its forest, attracts REDD+ attention

Letter: Animal cruelty is not entertainment

‘Necessary’ fight for animal rights THAILAND

Agencies curtail ivory smuggling. CHINA. (NA COMMENT: Pure fiction?)

Da Nang residents catch rare turtles to sell at high prices. VietNamNet Bridge – Hundreds of people recently began hunting rare turtles in the forests and streams in the hills of Hoa Vang District of central city of Da Nang. The search started after a rumour was spread that the turtles could be sold at sky-high prices.

CITES: New shark fin identification tool released

An anti-PANGOLIN poaching PSA is now airing in Vietnam because of CNN readers

MALAYSIA : It’s the CITES officials in Malaysia who won’t confiscate this orangutan. These same officials have a long and sordid history of complicity in the illegal orangutan trade. The CITES secretariat and Standing Committee have yet to punish Malaysia – for anything, which is why things go from bad to worse, isn’t it?


World’s loneliest orangutan does not know how to act like a primate because she has never even SEEN another of her own kind… while zoo visitors encourage her to smoke and force her to eat junk food. MALAYSIA

· Katarina used to belong to Malaysian royal family but is now dying alone

· She is kept in a miserable zoo with no companion, toys or leafy trees

· 12-year-old doesn’t act like an orangutan because she hasn’t known others

· Her mother was murdered when she was a baby, now she is on her own

· Campaigners are desperate for her to get a mate as she is suffering so much

She was once the pet of Malaysian royalty but now the loneliest orangutan in the world pines away her days in a miserable zoo with no companion, no toys, no leafy trees and only a concrete block to sleep on.

It is believed Katarina, aged about 12 and about to grow into adulthood, has never seen another orangutan apart from her murdered mother and, says a devoted wildlife activist who is determined to find her a better life, because of her total isolation she thinks she’s the only orangutan in the world.

Alone in her squalid surroundings, she doesn’t know how to behave like an orangutan, unable to exhibit natural behaviours usually displayed in a leafy environment shared with other youngsters.

Visitors throw junk food at her and have been caught trying to force her to smoke a cigarette. She has no bedding and is forced to sit on cold concrete everyday for at least 12 hours after the zoo is closed.

Orangutans were sometimes referred to as the wild men of Borneo by British colonialists, but those days of centuries past were when the jungles were alive with healthy populations of the orange-furred ape.

Scroll down for video

Katarina, the world’s loneliest orangutan peers out through the bars of her night cage in Lipis Zoo, Malaysia. Her concrete sleeping quarters are behind her

Katarina, the world’s loneliest orangutan, peers out from the bars of her bleak night cage where she has only a concrete floor to sleep on in Lipis Zoo, Malaysia

Isolated Orangutan, Katarina, is the world’s loneliest Orangutan

Today it is estimated that only 50,000 remain in the wild on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and on Borneo, which is shared by Indonesia and Malaysia.

Their world is dying around them, as trees come down to make way for oil palm plantations and adult apes and babies are hacked to death by workers protecting the planted trees. For those people, hungry orangutans are pests which must be destroyed.

‘Katarina’s mother was without a doubt murdered because that is the only way you are going to get a baby away from an adult orangutan,’ says 33-year-old Upreshpal Singh, director of the Kuala Lumpur-based Friends of the Orangutans, a man who is totally committed to saving the apes as many other welfare groups in his country sit idly by.

Katrina is the forgotten Wild Woman of Borneo, for without Mr Singh’s work it is unlikely that anyone would even know she is in the tiny, decaying zoo, aside from the handful of visitors who call by and – as is often the case – try to throw anything at hand at her including junk food.

A campaign is growing to find her a mate and a Facebook group is calling for better conditions.

Campaigner Mr Singh says: ‘I only need to look into her eyes and I can see the loneliness there. Where is the spark that I’ve seen in other orangutans? She sits around without a soul nearby because everything has had to be fenced off to try to stop people throwing stuff at her.’

Katarina, the world’s loneliest orangutan who is believed to have never seen another of her species apart from her murdered mother, climbs in her bleak enclosure in Lipis Zoo, Malaysia

Katarina, the world’s loneliest orangutan, sits forlornly at the top of a bare tree as suburia spreads in Lipis, Malaysia. She does not exhibit normal behaviours because she has never had a mate

Mr Singh drives me across the Malaysian peninsula, a three hour journey to the town of Kuala Lipis, which was a gold mining centre before the British arrived in 1887.The state capital has since dramatically declined and the decaying, tiny zoo on a hillside overlooking the town attracts few tourists.

‘I’ve got a bit of a reputation for getting places closed down because of cruelty concerns and while I have been shocked at some of the things I’ve seen, I’m really worried about Katarina,’ he says as we step down the hillside towards the cages.

I only need to look into her eyes and I can see the loneliness there.

Campaigner Upreshpal Singh

‘She climbs a tree which has no leaves and sits there all day, doing nothing. Then during the hours of darkness she’s locked in a night cage which has nothing but a concrete floor.

‘She’s as miserable as sin – I can see that – and I’m determined to get her moved to a place where there are other orang-utans and where she can be happy for the rest of her life.’

What has infuriated Mr Singh is the fact that the government has spent at least £10 million on building an enclosure for two Chinese pandas at the Nagara Zoo, the national animal enclosure, yet not a penny has been spent on upgrading the seriously under-funded Lipis Zoo or doing anything to help the lonely orangutan.

‘While the pandas are receiving daily enrichment, Katarina receives none. She is not going to enjoy a full and healthy life is this torture continues,’ says Mr Singh.

Katarina, the world’s loneliest orangutan plays on a rope, her only plaything, in her enclosure in the Lipis Zoo, Malaysia. She has never had a companion

Suburbia creeps in on the miserable domain of Katarina, the world’s loneliest orangutan in a tiny zoo in Lipis, Malaysia, after she was kept as a pet by a royal family. She has never had a mate and pines away her days

A wildlife investigator snuck into the zoo at night to check on how Katarina was sleeping and, by torchlight, found her slumped on concrete in a corner.

That is how it has been every night for at least 12 hours for the past three years since she was handed to the zoo.

‘I’ve been told on good authority that she was a pet with one of Malaysia’s nine royal families, having come through the illegal wildlife trade. Then, when she got too big to handle, she was passed to the zoo,’ says Mr Singh.

We walk past cages with rusty bars staring in at sad animals that include a small leopard cat that was being tormented by three children who were screaming at it and laughing as it tried to hide behind its bleak, concrete home.

Katarina’s enclosure is quite large but bare of any leafy trees. She is sitting on top of a barren tree staring down at us. In the valley below her are houses that have swallowed up the forests that once covered this region.

The viewing platform into her enclosure is wrapped in wire mesh to try stop people throwing rubbish at her – but they still feed her junk food. There is not a keeper in sight – in fact the only employee to be found is an elderly lady sitting in the ticket booth at the entrance.

Katarina, the world’s loneliest orangutan, comes from the light into the darkness as she enters her night cage at Lipis Zoo, Malaysia

‘People still manage to toss junk food at Katarina and it doesn’t stop there – they throw lighted cigarette at her, hoping she’ll put on a show and smoke one.’

Katrina climbs down from her roost and grabs a rope that is stretched across the enclosure and pulls herself along it.

She’s putting on a harmless kind of show for us – but then she scuttles off into the darkness of her night cage.

This is her life, nothing more – and Mr Singh is determined to change it for the better. He has been pressing the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to immediately transfer Katerina to the Matang Wildlife Sanctuary in Sarawak, Borneo, where the Sarawak Forestry Corporation provides excellent care for orang-utans saved from abuse.

‘This is now very urgent. We need to take her away from her misery. She needs a mate. She needs a friend. She has probably not been with her kind since infancy after losing her mother,’ says Mr Singh.

‘Orangutans cannot be left to live alone in captivity. In Katarina’s case it is solitary confinement of the very worst kind.’

Mr Singh’s group Friends of the Orangutans, has started a petition in the hope that animal lovers around the world will join forces to have Katarina moved to the Matang Wildlife Sanctuary.

The petition can be seen at:
Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

%d bloggers like this: