For Immediate Release:
14 September 2020
Monica Chopra; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]
Police Action Follows Complaint Filed by PETA India With Support From MP Poonam Mahajan
Mumbai – Following a complaint filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the Nagpada police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against two suspects from the Madanpura area for apparent involvement in the illegal trade and custody of a baby orangutan. They have been booked under Sections 34 and 289 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 11(l)(k) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Member of Parliament Poonam Mahajan had supported PETA India‘s efforts by helping to lodge the complaint against the suspects. The orangutan’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Earlier, PETA India received a tip about the suspects after offering a reward of up to Rs 1 lakh for information leading to the rescue of the orangutan and to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible. The accused were interrogated by officials of the forest department and the police at that time. One of the suspects had posted videos and photographs of the orangutan and parakeets on Instagram, and officials recovered the footage from his phone. A video of some people surrounding and abusing the orangutan was also recovered from the phone of the suspect.
“This highly intelligent ape needs to be urgently reunited with animals of the same species in his or her native country, not held captive by cruel humans and exploited on social media,“ says PETA India Manager of Veterinary Services Dr Rashmi Gokhale. “PETA India urges anyone who knows the whereabouts of this animal to come forward immediately to protect the orangutan from further damage to his or her mental and physical health.“
The preliminary investigation by the police established that the animal was illegally imported into India without the required permit from the country of origin as mandated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an import permit from India‘s director general of foreign trade, and relevant approval from the Animal Quarantine and Certification Services and the customs department in India. PETA India has also filed a complaint with the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau.
PETA India aims to work with the state and central governments to rescue the baby orangutan and place the animal in a lush sanctuary in a country native to the species – either Indonesia or Malaysia – where he or she would have the opportunity for companionship with other orangutans.
Orangutans are a species of great ape listed under Appendix I of the CITES. In captivity, they are denied activities that are important to their well–being.
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way“ – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.