Fourteen orangutans that were illegally smuggled out of Indonesia and believed to have been used at tourist attractions in Thailand have been returned home.
Most of the animals had been rescued six years ago in Phuket and had been sent to a sanctuary outside Bangkok, reports News24
However, wildlife advocates said the animals should have been brought home right away as it is now too late for them to go back into the wild, according to Yahoo News.
The repatriation involved bringing the animals on an Indonesian military C130 Hercules airplane, reports the Jakarta Post.
Orangutans are endangered, but that doesn’t stop the illegal trade of the animal which can be sold as pets or used for traditional medicine.
According to the Seattle Times, the director of Thailand’s Wildlife Conservation Office believes the animals were put in private zoos and tourist attractions in Phuket. Some private zoos in Thailand have shows where orangutans have to perform things like Thai boxing, reports the Times.
Orangutans are recently under great threat due to forest fires in Indonesia that is destroying their habitat.