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Jakarta Post

An alarming surge in illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia

  • Avirat Parekh

    Mumbai, India

Mumbai, India   /   Wed, August 19 2020   /  01:00 am
Center stage: Foreign tourists take pictures of an orangutan at Camp Leakey in Tanjung Putting National Park in Central Kalimantan on July 27, 2016. The orangutan is an endangered species in Indonesia. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

With a recent purge by American social media giant Facebook on advertisements for the illicit sale of animals in Yangon, Myanmar, the discourse around such trade has resurfaced. The ad more specifically sported a picture of a caged cat and described it as “Not too wild, not too-well behaved. If interested, call...” which is alarming for the platform as it has a strict ban on the sale of animals.
According to a report by an international non-governmental organization World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) illegal wildlife trade occurs across the Southeast Asian region from the remote corners of Myanmar and Laos, to markets in Bangkok and Hanoi, but its center of gravity is the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Myanmar, Lao, China meet. Thereby, categorizing the region as a major hub for trade of this nature. The region is a biodiversity hotspot that sits at the heart of wil...