KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) — Malaysia will return four orangutans to Indonesia after experts discovered they are from a species normally found in the forests of Borneo, a report said Friday.
The Wildlife Protection and National Parks Department found the four orangutans were from the pongo pygmaeus wurmbii species, native to Borneo, following DNA tests on 60 orangutans in zoos and theme parks.
"It was found that these four orangutans were different from the other species," Mohamad Nawayai Yasak, director at the zoo in western Malacca state, was quoted as saying by The Star.
Mohamad Nawayai said two of the orangutans -- named Dodi and Linda -- have been at the Malacca zoo for the past five years while the other two, Mamat and Minah, were seized from a theme park recently.
"There were no details of how they were acquired," the zoo director said.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) requires an animal to be sent back to its country of origin if it does not have proper import certification and it cannot be established how it was brought in, the paper said.
The four apes are scheduled to be flown to Jakarta Friday and handed over to Indonesia's forestry department. They will go through a rehabilitation programme before being sent to Kalimantan on Borneo island.
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