The arrests were made in Aceh Tamiang District on Feb 10, Senior Commissioner Winardy, head of the Public Relations Division of the Aceh Regional Police, stated here on Saturday.
"Of the four perpetrators arrested, two are named as suspects. The suspects are M, 44, a resident of Lhoksukon, North Aceh, and A, 52, a citizen of North Sumatra. Meanwhile, the other two are currently being investigated to determine their role," he revealed.
Personnel of the Aceh Police's Special Criminal Investigation Directorate, under the guise of buyers of these protected animals, blew the lid off the orangutan trafficking.
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"In this undercover operation, the police detained four people. However, it is suspected that the animal owner, with the initials as AAN, 45, a resident of North Sumatra, fled. The animal owner has been placed on the police's wanted list," Winardy remarked.
The police rescued one Sumatran orangutan and took the endangered animal to the Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency.
"Based on results of the veterinary examination, the orangutan was found to be sick and in stress. Subsequently, he will be rehabilitated in Sibolangit, North Sumatra. Meanwhile, the perpetrators are charged under Law No. 5 of 1990 on the conservation of natural resources and their ecosystems," Winardy stated.
The orangutan is the only member of the great ape family found in Asia. All other members of the great ape family located in Africa are the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), gorilla (Gorilla gorilla and Gorilla beringei), and bonobo (Pan paniscus). Three species of the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) are distributed across the island of Borneo in Kalimantan, Indonesia, and Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia, while the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) is found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis).
According to a genetic study, orangutans may be more closely related to humans than scientists had earlier thought.
The first blueprint of the orangutan's genetic code confirmed that they share 97 percent of their DNA with humans.
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