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Smuggled orangutan repatriated

Smuggled orangutan repatriated

KUWAIT: An orangutan that had been smuggled into Kuwait has been repatriated to Indonesia this week through the efforts of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Kuwait in cooperation with the Kuwait Zoo and Directorate of Biodiversity Conservation Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia as well as BOS Foundation.

The two-year-old male orangutan, named Taymur, was rescued in June 2016, after his owner was arrested. The animal was found to be in a very bad state, intoxicated and uncared for. He was transferred to the Kuwait Zoo where he has been cared for ever since. Taymur is the third orangutan found to be illegally brought to Kuwait within the last two years. The orangutan is an endangered species.

Keeping exotic animals as pets has become a popular trend in the Gulf states, though several have outlawed the practice. In January, the United Arab Emirates warned owners of exotic or dangerous pets that they have a six month amnesty to hand them over or face fines and jail time. Reports of individually-owned lion cubs, tigers and cheetahs roaming city streets or attacking their handlers are common.

In 2014, a Filipina domestic worker died in Kuwait after being attacked by her employer’s pet lion. Nearly two years later, in 2016, a young Kuwaiti man died in Saudi Arabia after being attacked by a pet lion he was attempting to train.

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