A 2013 UN report stated that from 2005–2011, over 1,000 orangutans were intercepted from wildlife traffickers. This is only a fraction of the ones taken or slaughtered, however. Poachers routinely kill mother orangutans to steal their babies for the pet trade.
But what happens when illegally obtained animals (orangutans and countless other species) are seized by authorities? Some are returned to the wild. Others remain in captivity. Some are simply euthanized. See page 16 for more on how best to ensure that deliverance from the smuggling pipeline really does mean an end of the ordeal for such confiscated animals.
Photograph by Cyril Ruoso/Minden Pictures