Jakarta. Indonesian police have arrested two men who allegedly killed an orangutan and threw its headless and mutilated body into the Barito River two weeks ago.
"We've arrested 41-year-old T and 32-year-old M, both residents of the South Barito district," Central Kalimantan's police chief, Brig. Gen Anang Revandoko, identifying the suspects by their initials, said in Palangkaraya on Wednesday (31/01) as quoted by state news agency Antara.
Anang said the police also seized 17 rifles, including one air rifle, and a machete that the men allegedly used to mutilate the orangutan.
He said the men claimed they had killed the orangutan in self-defense when it attacked one of them when they were busy collecting sap from rubber trees in the forest.
"They could face a five-year sentence and a fine of Rp 100 million [$7470]," Anang said.
The male Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) was found in the river by a villager and had likely been in the water for at least two days.
The hair on its body had been singed off and its head was nowhere to be found.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) includes Bornean orangutans in its "critically endangered" list, one step away from being extinct.
The IUCN said the main threats to orangutan's survival in the wild is loss of habitat caused by deforestation and illegal wildlife trading.