There are horrible scars on Momon´s neck where his owners chained him. Momon was lucky because the Orang-Utan Conservation Program heard about him and sent the forest police to confiscate him. His odyssey is coming to an end – he is now in the Reintroduction Station in Bukit Tigapuluh and is being prepared for a life in freedom.
It has been illegal to privately own orang-utans in Indonesia for many years but unfortunately it is still very easy to obtain baby orang-utans as pets. The capture of young orangs is brutal – the mother has to be shot to get to the baby. An estimated five animals die for every orang-utan sold – through inadequate conditions on the way out of the forest, in the hands of the middlemen or at the market before a buyer is found.
It is estimated that between 200 – 400 orang-utans are illegally held as pets on Sumatra. We still have a long way ahead of us before we can finally put an end to orang-utan trade and all confiscated orangs are given the chance to return to their natural surroundings.