Illegal Pet Trade

Illegal pet trade

Wild orangutan numbers are also affected by the illegal pet trade – particularly the socially inclined baby.

Estimates suggest that more than 1000 orangutans are smuggled into Java and overseas each year. Indeed, a recent report by the Centre for Orangutan Protection and Nature Alert puts the number killed or captured for the illegal pet trade at as high as 20,000 over the past ten years.

While the orangutan is protected by both national laws and international conventions, authorities rarely prosecute and penalties are mild.

For every baby that makes it to the backstreet markets of Bangkok or Taiwan another two have perished. And to “harvest” the babies a further five mothers have been killed.


Orphaned orangutans being sold on the illegal market


When it all goes wrong – chained to a tree for life or succumbing to the trauma of capture

Threats to orangutans

Loss of habitat


For the most recent news articles on loss of habitat, palm oil and the illegal pet trade, click here.

How Can You Help

There are lots of ways you can support orangutans and help ensure the survival of this precious ape.

Adopt an Orangutan

Adopt an Orangutan

Orangutans are endangered and at risk of extinction. Habitat destruction means hundreds of orphan orangutans need to care for every year. You can help by adopting one. Their dedicated ‘nannies’ teach them everything they need to know for when it’s time to release them back to the wild. You can follow their progress through Forest School.

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Make a Donation

Make a Donation

Please help the Orangutans in their struggle for survival. Your donation is important and goes directly to BOS Indonesia. By donating, you are helping bring this noble yet endangered species back from the brink of extinction and on a path to freedom - from rescue to rehabilitation and release.

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Visit Our Shop

Visit Our Shop

The perfect gift for any occasion! Choose from our selection of instant gifts that directly support our orangutans. You can buy a wheelbarrow, provide food for an orangutan for two months or lots more. You will receive a certificate, personalised with the name of your choice - perfect gift for you or a friend.

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