Since the teams' inception in 2012, the Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit has confiscated 67 orangutans from the illegal wildlife trade. Most of these orangutans have been very young - either being kept as pets by people who are unaware that it is illegal to do so, or being prepared for sale on the wider illegal wildlife market.
In many cases, the HOCRU team is led and supported by the patrol teams in conducting confiscations of orangutans from the illegal trade. One such case happened recently, when the patrol team received information from the community in Simpang Rambung village about orangutans being offered for sale on social media. The team quickly responded and were able to confiscate two juvenile orangutans from a trader's house. While the team were working to safely confiscate the orangutans, the trader ran away. He was eventually persuaded to set up a meeting with the team, at which he admitted his participation in the illegal trade of two infant orangutans. He is now undergoing legal proceedings with the North Sumatra Police.
Orangutans have a very long inter-birth interval (8-10 years), so the loss of any individual to the wildlife trade has a potentially devastating effect on populations. Thanks to the patrol team, the two infants confiscated from Simpang Rambung village are now being rehabilitated at an expert facility and will be able to be released into the wild when they reach adulthood.
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