Remembering the Bangkok Six
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM Shirley McGreal, IPPL International Primate Protection League
July 2020

Six baby baboons were captured in the wild, drugged, three were shipped upside down, all were rescued, but then died.

Bangkok Six

Never forgotten: The Bangkok Six orangutans.

These babies, caught by the killing of their mothers, were smuggled from Indonesia to Singapore in 1990. Their names were Bimbo, Tanya, Olee, Bambi, Fossey, and Thomas. A Singapore-based animal dealer, working with Kurt Schafer, a German dealer then resident in Thailand, stuffed the babies into unventilated crates labelled "Birds."

Bangkok Six

Bangkok Six

They were drugged and sent on their way to then-Yugoslavia. During the long transit stop in Bangkok, some of the babies woke up and started crying. Some alert Thai authorities x-rayed the crates and found the profiles of six baby orangutans and confiscated them. Three had been shipped upside down. IPPL sent a caregiver to Thailand, but sadly the babies started dying, several had pneumonia.

Bangkok Six

Bangkok Sox

The smugglers were identified following an IPPL investigation and a Miami animal dealer named Matthew Block was indicted for serving as "manager" of the shipment. He was sentenced to 13 months in prison. After his release, he continued his career of trafficking huge numbers of monkeys to research labs from his base in Miami.

Bangkok Six

The babies, if they had survived, would now be in their early 30s and would hopefully have lived happy lives in their jungle homes and had families of their own.


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