Yogyakarta City Police Cyber ​​Patrol Foils Trade of Protected Animals on Facebook

Illegal online trade of protected animals on Facebook was foiled by Yogyakarta City Police, Indonesia.

Yogyakarta City Police in collaboration with Yogyakarta Natural Resource Conservation Center (BKSDA) uncovered a case of illegal online trade of protected species in Indonesia. One suspect was arrested after cyber patrol officers found a Facebook page which sells endangered animals without permit. 

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"After we investigated, the suspect was in Semarang City (Central Java), then we coordinated with the BKSDA to arrest the suspect (with initials) RD," said the head of the Yogyakarta City Police Criminal Investigation Unit, Commissioner Andhyka Donny Hendrawan, in a press conference at the Gembira Loka Zoo Yogyakarta, Friday (22/10/2021), as quoted from Tempo

"During the cyber patrol, officers found a post offering protected animals to be traded online," said Andhyka, as quoted from Yogyakarta City police website.

yogyakarta police press conference regarding trade of protected animal
Yogyakarta police press conference regarding trade of protected animal at Gembira Loka Zoo. (Photo: Police doc.)

Andhyka said that RD's arrest was made in Semarang on Friday (15/10/2021) a week earlier. From the hands of the 27-year-old man, the police confiscated ten wild animals. They are seven Javan Slow Loris (Nycticebus javanicus), one Binturong (Arctictis binturong), one New Guinea crocodile (Crocodylus novaeguineae) and one unidentified crocodile. All animals are in healthy conditions.

The confiscated animals are temporarily kept at the Gembira Loka Zoo, Yogyakarta, for further protection and cares. Meanwhile, RD is charged with the Law of the Republic of Indonesia No. 5 of 1990 concerning Conservation of Biological Natural Resources and Their Ecosystems with a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of Rp100 million.

The Head of the Conservation Section for Region I Yogyakarta, Untung Suripto, appreciated the authorities for uncovering the illegal trade of protected wildlife. "(in) Yogya often occurs online animal trade, but the police also reveal a lot of these cases," said Untung. 

illegal trade of javan slow loris
Javan slow loris is often traded as pet illegally.

In particular, he mentioned that the Javan slow loris is an exotic primate species. Untung recommends that the animal should be released into its habitat considering that it's very difficult to take care.

Gembira Loka Conservation Manager, Josephine Vanda Tirtayani, said she was concerned about the rampant trade in protected animals. Gembira Loka Zoo is a recreational place as well as a conservation institution that also plays a role in wild animals rescue.