Saturday July 4, 2009
DNA tests being done on orang utans
PETALING JAYA: The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhi- litan) is conducting DNA tests on two baby orang utans which were confiscated from the Taiping Zoo last month.
Perhilitan director-general Datuk Abdul Rashid Samsudin said the DNA results would help prosecutors determine the type of charge for those responsible.
“We need to find out what species the orang utan are, and the results will determine what action can be taken,” he said when contacted yesterday.
The DNA test would take about three weeks to be completed, he added.
The Star on Tuesday reported that three orang utans, believed to be part of a group of five animals, were confiscated from the Taiping Zoo and an animal breeder.
The confiscation was carried out by Perhilitan in the middle last month.
Yesterday, a deer breeder was charged with five counts of illegally possessing a young orang utan and seven exotic cockatoos.
Mohamed Akbar Chiraghdin, 49, who is married to a veterinary doctor, was accused of having the protected species at a house in Bukit Sentosa at 8pm on June 11.
The orang utan is a totally protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 as well as prohibited from international trade for its status as an Appendix I species on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).