Frightened young orangutans were among the more than 400 exotic animals that were rescued by Malaysian customs officials during a foiled smuggling attempt on Friday.
According to The Strait Times, dozens of baby saltwater crocodiles, hundreds of sugar gliders, and a large assortment of rare birds were also among the animals rescued from a boat that was travelling from Sumatra, Indonesia, to Thailand.
Fortunately, the three suspected Indonesian traffickers, who hid the animals in boxes in a secret compartment, were stopped and arrested before they reached their final destination where they intended to sell their “cargo” as pets.
As noted by numerous media outlets, Elizabeth John of the animal protection organization TRAFFIC said that the number and variety of animals seized, showed “how tremendous the pressure is on wildlife due to demand for pets.”
Tragically, as often reported by WAN, smuggled animals suffer tremendously from a variety of issues including malnutrition, loneliness and the unfathomable stress of being confined in an unnatural and unsettling environment, which often results in their senseless deaths.
The perpetrators, who are expected to be charged for breaking wildlife laws will face up to 10 years in jail.
While smuggling attempts of animals in Malaysia are sadly common, the large number of animals rescued from this seizure is remarkable.