An orangutan was found shot to death in Indonesia’s second such reported killing.
The body of the male orangutan, which was discovered by villagers from a lake in Borneo’s East Kutai district, also showed signs of machete wounds.
The mutilated ape was between five and seven years old. Its horrific death has reportedly sparked a manhunt for the killers.
According to a statement from the Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP), authorities carrying out an autopsy of the animal were only able to remove 48 bullets from the body.
The animal was shot at least 130 times, including more than 70 bullets in its head, 17 in the chest, 9 in the right arm, 14 in the left arm, 10 in the right leg and 6 in the left leg.
The autopsy revealed the animal was blinded as a result of the shooting and had 17 other severe injuries believed to be caused by sharp objects.
"The 130 pellets within the body of a primate is a new record, the most ever, in the history of human-and-orangutan conflicts in Indonesia,” said habitat protection manager, Ramadhani who only goes by his first name.
"We are shocked by this senseless cruelty that has resulted in the suffering and death of an orangutan, a critically endangered species that is protected by national law from such harm,” said Teresa Telecky, a spokesperson for Humane Society International.
This merciless killing of the animal comes a week after police arrested two rubber plantation workers from the island. They were accused of shooting one of the primates repeatedly and decapitating it.
Speaking about the latest gruesome killing of another orangutan local police chief Dedi Agustono said, “We found pellets all over its body. There were also a number of cut wounds that could have been caused by a machete.”
“It is the most bullet wounds we have ever seen on an orangutan,” he added.
According to locals, the ape was breathing while being taken to the hospital. Rescuers tried saving the critically endangered ape but the injuries were too severe.
Air guns can easily be purchased without obtaining any license. Many farmers and plantation workers in these regions use the weapons to hunt down animals to protect crops.
“We are working with the police and the environment ministry to solve this case,” Ramadhani said. “We hope the authorities can solve this case like the recent incident in Central Kalimantan province.”
Orangutans are a protected species in Indonesia and Malaysia but their habitat has dramatically reduced because of deforestation. They are also at a high risk of poaching.
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