Jakarta. Officials from Indonesia's Environment and Forestry Ministry, local police and animal rights groups have been conducting an investigation to find the men who fired 130 rounds with an air rifle at an adult orangutan that was found barely holding on to its life in a village in East Kutai, a district of East Kalimantan, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday (07/02).
The male Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), believed to be 5 to 7 years old, was found alive by a villager on Sunday and evacuated by a team from the ministry and police, according to the statement.
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 had a chance to remove 48 of them," said Puja Utama, an official from the ministry’s directorate general of natural resources and ecosystem conservation.
Puja said the body of the orangutan has been stored in the Natural Resources Conservation Center's (BKSDA) mortuary to be further investigated.
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," Ramadhani said.
Last month, the decapitated and mutilated body of another male Bornean orangutan was found floating in Central Kalimantan's Barito River. Two rubber plantation workers were arrested for killing the endangered animal.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) includes Bornean orangutans in its "critically endangered" list, one step away from extinction.
The IUCN said the main threats to orangutan's survival in the wild is loss of habitat caused by deforestation and illegal wildlife trading.