Orangutan shot 130 times with air gun in 2nd Borneo killing of the year
X-ray shows at least 70 pellets were found in the animal's head
A male orangutan on the Indonesian portion of Borneo died after being shot at least 130 times with an air gun and apparently being stabbed and clubbed in the second known killing of a critically endangered orangutan this year.
Villagers spotted the wounded orangutan in a lake in the Kutai Timur district of East Kalimantan province on Sunday.
A statement from the Centre for Orangutan Protection said the orangutan died early Tuesday.
An X-ray showed at least 130 air gun pellets in its body, including more than 70 in its head, the centre said.
Ramadhani, a manager of habitat protection at the centre who goes by one name, said the death was a terrible event in the history of conflict between orangutans and humans in Indonesia.
"The 130 pellets within the body of a primate is a new record, the most ever," he said.
In mid-January, an orangutan was found decapitated and shot more than a dozen times with an air gun in Central Kalimantan, environmental news website Mongabay reported. Police arrested two rubber farmers suspected in the killing, it said.
The number of orangutans in Borneo and on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, recognized as separate species and both classified as critically endangered, has fallen precipitously since the 1970s.
Orangutans are a protected species in Indonesia and Malaysia, but 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.
About 40 per cent of Borneo's forests have been lost since the early 1970s and another huge swath of forest is expected to be converted to plantation agriculture in the next decade.