Orangutan mother blinded by air gun pellets in Indonesia

CAPTION CORRECTS TYPE OF SURGERY - In this photo taken on Sunday, March 17, 2019, a volunteer orthopedic surgeon Andreas Messikommer of Switzerland conduct a surgery on a female orangutan named 'Hope' for infections in some parts of the body and to fix broken bones, at Sumatra Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) facility in Sibolangit, North Sumatra, Indonesia. A veterinarian says the endangered orangutan that had a young baby has gone blind after being shot at least 74 times, including six in the eyes, with air gun. The baby orangutan died from malnutrition last Friday as rescuers rushed the two to the facility. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
CAPTION CORRECTS TYPE OF SURGERY - This Sunday, March 17, 2019 photo shows an X-ray image of air rifle pellets inside the body of a female orangutan named 'Hope' displayed during a surgery for infections in some parts of the body and to fix broken bones at Sumatra Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) facility in Sibolangit, North Sumatra, Indonesia. A veterinarian says the endangered orangutan that had a young baby has gone blind after being shot at least 74 times, including six in the eyes, with air gun. The baby orangutan died from malnutrition last Friday as rescuers rushed the two to the facility. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
CAPTION CORRECTS TYPE OF SURGERY - In this photo taken on Sunday, March 17, 2019, veterinarians and volunteers of Sumatra Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) tend to a female orangutan they named 'Hope' after conducting a surgery for infections in some parts of the body and to fix broken bones, at SOCP facility in Sibolangit, North Sumatra, Indonesia. A veterinarian says the endangered orangutan that had a young baby has gone blind after being shot at least 74 times, including six in the eyes, with air gun. The baby orangutan died from malnutrition last Friday as rescuers rushed the two to the facility. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
CAPTION CORRECTS TYPE OF SURGERY - In this photo taken onSunday, March 17, 2019, veterinarians and volunteers of Sumatra Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) tend to a female orangutan they named 'Hope' during a surgery for infections in some parts of the body and to fix broken bones, at SOCP facility in Sibolangit, North Sumatra, Indonesia. A veterinarian says the endangered orangutan that had a young baby has gone blind after being shot at least 74 times, including six in the eyes, with air gun. The baby orangutan died from malnutrition last Friday as rescuers rushed the two to the facility. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 17, 2019, a veterinarian and a volunteer of Sumatra Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) tend to a three-month old baby orangutan named 'Brenda' that was evacuated from a village with a broken arm, prior to a surgery at SOCP facility in Sibolangit, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Orangutan populations in Indonesia's Borneo and Sumatra island are facing severe threats from habitat loss, illegal logging, fires and poaching. Conservationists predicted that without immediate action, orangutans are likely to be the first great ape to become extinct in the wild. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 17, 2019, a veterinarian conducts a surgery on a three-month old baby orangutan named 'Brenda' that was evacuated from a village with a broken arm, at Sumatra Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) facility in Sibolangit, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Orangutan populations in Indonesia's Borneo and Sumatra island are facing severe threats from habitat loss, illegal logging, fires and poaching. Conservationists predicted that without immediate action, orangutans are likely to be the first great ape to become extinct in the wild. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)
CAPTION CORRECTS TYPE OF SURGERY - In this photo taken on Sunday, March 17, 2019, volunteer orthopedic surgeon Andreas Messikommer of Switzerland, top center, conducts a surgery on a female orangutan named 'Hope' for infections in some parts of the body and to fix broken bones, at Sumatra Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) facility in Sibolangit, North Sumatra, Indonesia. A veterinarian says the endangered orangutan that had a young baby has gone blind after being shot at least 74 times, including six in the eyes, with air gun. The baby orangutan died from malnutrition last Friday as rescuers rushed the two to the facility. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

SIBOLANGIT, Indonesia — An orangutan mother has been blinded after being shot with at least 74 air gun pellets on Indonesia's Sumatra island, where threats to the endangered species have increased as the palm oil and paper industries shrink its jungle habitat.

An X-ray showed at least 74 air gun pellets in her body, including four in her left eye and two in the right, said veterinarian Yenny Saraswati with the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program.

The great ape, named "Hope" by her rescuers, also had several wounds believed to have been caused by sharp objects, she said Monday. Hope also was recovering from surgery to repair a broken collarbone.

Villagers spotted the severely wounded orangutan in a farm in Aceh province's Subulussalam district last week with her month-old baby, which was critically malnourished, said Sapto Aji Prabowo, who heads the Aceh provincial conservation agency.

The baby died as rescuers rushed the pair to a clinic in neighboring North Sumatra province's Sibolangit district.

"Hopefully Hope can pass this critical period, but she cannot be released to the wild anymore," Saraswati said, adding that only removed seven of the pellets were removed because the veterinarians prioritized the broken collarbone and the risk of infection that it posed.

The orangutan conservation program said the use of readily available air guns to shoot and kill wildlife, including orangutans, is a major problem in Indonesia.

It said in the last 10 years, it has treated more than 15 orangutans with a total of nearly 500 air gun pellets in their bodies.

Last year, an orangutan in the Indonesian part of Borneo died after being shot at least 130 times with an air gun, the second known killing of an orangutan that year.

A 2018 comprehensive study of Borneo's orangutans estimates their numbers have plummeted by more than 100,000 since 1999, as the palm oil and paper industries shrink their habitat and fatal conflicts with people increase.

Only around 13,400 Sumatran orangutans remain in the wild. The species is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

___

Karmini reported from Jakarta, Indonesia.

___

This story has been corrected to show that some pellets were removed in the operation.

5 dead as Indonesian ferry catches fire in Java...

May 20, 2017

A search for survivors of a ferry that caught fire in the Java Sea, killing five people, has been...

Suspected suicide bombs in Jakarta kills 3...

May 24, 2017

Two suspected suicide bombings near a bus terminal in Indonesia's capital Wednesday night killed...

Indonesia forest threatened by development...

Aug 23, 2017

An Indonesian company and its Chinese partner are pushing ahead with an industrial wood plantation...

Hundreds leave Papua villages in separatist...

Nov 20, 2017

Indonesian police say hundreds more people have left villages in easternmost Papua that were at the...

Bali volcano erupts but flights operating normally

Nov 26, 2017

A volcano on the Indonesian island of Bali has rumbled into life with a series of eruptions that...

Penggerak pasaran mengikut TradingView

About Us

Duniaga is Malaysia’s top local source for business news and information where people head to stay connected with the business news. We give daily in-depth analysis on the business happenings in the country.

Contact us: sales[at]duniaga.com

Subscribe Now!