Indonesia Police Investigating the Death of Orangutans with 130 Bullets in its Body

By | February 08, 2018 Leave a Comment
By Staff Writer

Photo: Centre for Orangutan Protection

Indonesian official and animal rights group work together to hunt down the killer of Borneo Orangutan that died with 130 bullets lodged in his body.

East Kutai Police Chief Adjunct Commissioner Teddy Ristiawan said it had set up a team to investigate the case and arrest the perpetrators.

"The team has been conducting investigations in the field, looking for witnesses, looking for evidence, to trying to reveal the perpetrator," said Ristiawan as quoted by

The male Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), believed to be 5 to 7 years old, was spotted over the weekend, by villagers in a lake in the Kutai Timur district of East Kalimantan Province.

Environment and Forestry Ministry officials with help from the Center for Orangutan Protection (COP) transported the orangutan the next day to get more extensive treatment but the the animal died early on Tuesday morning.

The COP said in a statement that an X-ray showed at least 130 air rifle bullets in the orangutan's body, including 74 in its head. The doctor only able to remove 48 of them.

Ramadhani, the COP's habitat protection manager, said his team will cooperate with the authorities to find the orangutan killers.

"We will work together with the police and ministry officials to solve this case," said Ramadhani, who only goes by one name.

Ramadhani said the death was a terrible event in the history of conflict between orangutans and humans in Indonesia.

"This case should be a shame for all of us in the midst of government efforts to implement national orangutan conservation," he said.

It is the second known killing of one of the critically endangered species this year.

In January, an orangutan was found decapitated and shot more than a dozen times with an air gun in Central Kalimantan.

Police arrested two men who were suspected in the killing.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) includes Bornean orangutans in its "critically endangered" list, one step away from extinction.

The Sumatran orangutan population is estimated to be just under 15,000, while about 54,000 orangutans are thought to live in Borneo, according to the IUCN.

Deforestation has dramatically reduced their habitat and brought them into contact with farmers and plantation workers who kill them to protect crops and for meat.

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