1. The 50-year-old Orangutan died at a clinic after veterinarians spent several hours trying to save him
  2. Despite their best efforts, they could do little to stop the infections and severity of the injuries caused by being shot 22 times
  3. He was declared dead a few hours after arriving at the clinic run by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program
  4. The orangutan’s right eye had been irreparably damaged in the shooting, while it also suffered a large wound on its shoulder and multiple fractures
  5. The injured Sumatran Orangutan was tracked and captured by officials after it was shot by local hunters
  6. It’s believed he was shot by hunters because he liked to eat from the locals’ durian fruit trees
  7. There are an estimated 7,000 Orangutan left living freely in the north of the island of Sumatra, Indonesia

Photos: Sutanta Aditya

Indonesia: Endangered Orangutan dies after being shot with an air rifle 22 times, including once in the eye, because it was eating crops in Indonesian national park
By Corey Charlton, 4th November 2015;

A critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii)has died after being shot 22 times with an air rifle for eating fruit taken from local crops.

Veterinarians worked to save the life of the 50-year-old male Orangutan for several hours, but could do little after discovering 22 air rifle bullets riddled throughout its body.

One had destroyed the sight in its right eye, while it also had a large gash on its shoulder, several fractures and was suffering from severe infections.

The injured creature was tracked by officials in Mount Leuser National Park, Indonesia, after they became aware it was shot by hunters for eating the sweet fruit durian.

Andi Basrul, the head of the national park centre, told the Jakarta Post: “Many Orangutans have been shot before, but it is only this time that one has died so tragically, with so many gunshot wounds.”

He told the paper it was hunted by locals because it liked to eat from the durian trees they owned in the area. Although officials had tried to rescue it earlier, it evaded capture by climbing trees.

He added: “A week ago we tried to save it. But when we tried to catch it, it climbed up to the top of a tall tree.”

The species is considered Critically Endangered.

Found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, there are estimated to be around only 7,000 left scattered throughout the island’s northern rainforests.

However, the population is coming under severe pressure from desforestation – much of which is driven by the need for palm oil.

Source: The Daily Mail

Veterinarian Ian Singleton ponders the condition of a critically wounded male Orangutan, which died after an hour receiving emergency treatment.

Sumatran Orangutans threatened by forest destruction
By Sutanta Aditya, 3rd November 2015;

A series of deaths of Orangutans further confirms the destruction of Indonesia’s forests, contributing to the problem of global climate change.

The country’s biodiversity, including protected species such as Sumatran Orangutans, Elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) and Sumatran Rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), is currently under grave threat as a result of habitat devastation.

Amid wildfires and the ongoing haze crisis, coupled with unplanned population distribution for economic reasons, Sumatra’s forests are rapidly disappearing, with profit-seekers benefiting from conflict between humans and wild animals.

A recent medical examination by a veterinarian team from the Medan-based Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program (SOCP) found an adult Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) in critical condition. Despite hours of treatment, the ape was declared dead from stab wounds and 23 bullets lodged in its body.

A spokesman for the North Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BBKSDA) in Medan, Evansus R. Manalu, confirmed the incident. “Our field officers received a report from residents on Oct. 21 about a severely wounded Orangutan. Mount Leuser National Park [TNGL] and the Orangutan Information Center [OIC] referred the case to the SOCP in Sibolangit,” said Evansus.

"In the Bukit Lawang tourist area between Langkat regency and TNGL, an Orangutan was found in a critical state by TNGL and OIC personnel,” said OIC director Panut Hadisiswoyo, adding that the ape had been killed as a result of conflict with humans, an increasingly frequent occurrence.

Intense Human-Orangutan conflict recorded around Mount Leuser is, besides deforestation, the area’s most urgent issue, prompting the OIC to step up its precautionary efforts. “We deplore the recurrent killing of Sumatran Orangutans, because the location is a tourist spot, and the dead Orangutan indicated traces of the use of sharp weapons and guns,” he added.

Based on SOCP X-ray results, some of the bullets had entered the Orangutan’s right eye, while its left shoulder was badly wounded by sharp blades. “We did all we could, but sadly the Orangutan died an hour after receiving first aid,” said SOCP veterinarian Yenny Saraswati via social media.

If Sumatran Orangutans continue to be killed and the species becomes extinct, the Leuser protected forest will lose a link in its ecosystem chain. As noted by the SOCP, Kalimantan (Bornean) Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) belong to the Endangered category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), while Sumatran Orangutans are categorized as Critically Endangered, with only 6,600 left in the wild on the North Sumatra-Aceh border, according to SOCP director Ian Singleton.

Source: Jakarta Post

Indonesia: Sumatran Orangutan dies after being shot 22 times

By Apriadi Gunawan, 24th October 2015;

A 50-year-old male Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) has died from 22 gunshot wounds in Mount Leuser National Park (TNGL) area, Langkat regency, North Sumatra, after being caught eating durian.

TNGL officers took the animal to the Orangutan quarantine center in Sibolangit, Deli Serdang regency, North Sumatra, for medical treatment, but it died on Thursday after several hours of treatment administered by the veterinary team of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program (SOCP).

SOCP director Ian Singleton said that the Orangutan was brought to the quarantine center on Wednesday night in a critical condition. The following morning the veterinary team anesthetized it, gave it medication and cleaned its gunshot wounds.

“The X-ray result showed that there were 22 air rifle bullets spread throughout the Orangutan’s body, one of which destroyed its right eye,” Singleton told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

He said that apart from the gunshot wounds the animal had also suffered from fractures and a large wound on its left shoulder. In such a condition, he added, it was difficult for the Orangutan to survive as it had also suffered from severe infections, with worms found in the wounds all over its body.

“Finally, despite the team’s hard work trying to save him, he died at around 6 p.m. yesterday,” Singleton said.

He said that cases of Orangutans being shot by illegal hunters occurred frequently, but this was the first time in which an Orangutan had been shot with so many bullets and in such a violent manner.

The most recent shooting case involved less than 20 bullets.

“This is really tragic. Its body and even its eyes are full of gunshot wounds,” said Singleton, predicting that the Orangutan could have been shot a week before it was found, considering the watery wounds, especially in its eyes.

He said that shooting Orangutans was a crime that carried a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of Rp 100 million (US$7,142) according to Law No 5/1990 on conservation.

Head of the TNGL center, Andi Basrul, said that many of the Orangutans in the national park had been entering people’s plantations looking for food as big trees in the forests had been illegally logged and turned into oil palm plantations.

Some residents consider the mammal to be a pest and therefore hunt them.

“Many Orangutans have been shot before, but it is only this time that one has died so tragically, with so many gunshot wounds,” Andi said at his office on Friday.

Andi said he suspected that the dead Orangutan was one that had been hunted by locals over the last month, because it frequently ate from durian trees belonging to people in the area.

According to Andi, TNGL officers had long tried to save the Orangutan, but as it was a wild animal and liked to climb tall trees, they could not catch it.

“A week ago we tried to save it. But, when we tried to catch it, it climbed up to the top of a tall tree,” Andi said.

It was only on Wednesday, he said, that they succeeded in catching the Orangutan after waiting for a week for it to climb down from a tree. It was caught in the TNGL area in Bukit Lawang, Langkat regency, North Sumatra.

“Its physical condition was very weak when we handed it over to the orangutan quarantine center in Sibolangit for medical treatment,” Andi said.

Source: Jakarta Post

Indonesia: Sumatran Orangutan dies after being shot 22 times

Indonesia: Wanted: Primate Slaughterer!
23rd June 2015;

Protection of Forest & Fauna (PROFAUNA) Indonesia on 22 June 2015 received lots of reports from the public, concerning some gruesome pictures of primate killing assumed to be an Orangutan (Pongo) sp.) posted on Facebook. The poor primate assumed to be an Orangutan was killed, burned, and eaten. The pictures were posted by a Facebook account named Polo Panitia Hari Kiamat.

Orangutan is a protected species, and according to the Law no.5 of 1990 concerning the Conservation of Living Natural Resources and Its Ecosystem, anybody who kills an orangutan is liable to 5 years of prison or IDR 100 million fines.

“The slaughterer of this Orangutan has violated two laws, the Law no.5 of 1990 and also Law no.11 of 2008 concerning Electronic Information and Transactions,” stated PROFAUNA’s campaign officer, Swasti Prawidya Mukti.

PROFAUNA is investigating the reports and has filed the case to the law enforcement authority. If you know the person(s) who holds this account, who is assumed to be involved in the Orangutan slaughter, please inform PROFAUNA by email at: profauna@profauna.net, SMS center at +6281336657164, +6281615711592, or phone at +628563693611.

Source: ProFauna

Top: Decomposing carcass of an adult Orangutan in the forest of Southwest Aceh.
Bottom: Elephant bones found with a noose near Gunung Leuser National Park. This Elephant’s ivory is missing.
Photos by Leuser Conservation Forum

Indonesia: Poachers target Elephants, Tigers in Sumatran park
By Loren Bell, 31st July 2014;

The Leuser Ecosystem in Aceh, Indonesia is gaining the attention of international animal traffickers, according to the Leuser Conservation Forum (FKL). From the beginning of 2013, FKL patrols have dismantled 282 makeshift traps targeting high value threatened species, and the situation is getting worse.

“This is a crisis for Leuser,” said Dediansyah, Director of FKL, “We have found many wild animal traps in the forest installed by hunters. Their major targets are Sumatran Tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) and Sumatran Elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus).”

The snares are typically constructed from simple materials of varying size and design depending on the animal. In 2013, FKL patrols dismantled 127 such devices: 43 set for Tigers, 32 for birds, 20 for deer, 19 for Elephants, and 13 for Sumatran Rhinoceroses (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis). In the first six months of 2014, patrols found 160, suggesting an marked increase in hunting activity.

In addition, FKL patrols have found several Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) and Elephant carcasses, which investigators believe were the victims of hunting.

On the south end of Gunung Leuser National Park, FKL investigated four separate Elephant carcasses found with their tusks removed. The team discovered large steel cable snares, pit traps, and poison in the surrounding areas. Near one Elephant, a large number of bent and broken trees indicate that the animal was caught by its leg, and thrashed about trying to escape until it presumably died from exhaustion.

“[The hunters] seem to know where the Elephants migrate,” said Dedi, “and install traps along that route and wait for the Elephant to stumble across them.”

According to Dedi, more hunters are coming from outside the region, working in cooperation with wildlife traffickers. In addition to regular hunting for meat and the pet trade, an increased demand for body parts on the international Chinese medicine market has put pressure on Leuser. Unlike most other forests in Indonesia, Leuser’s wild animal population is still relatively intact and abundant.

In addition to tigers and elephants, other commonly hunted animals include Hornbills (F. Bucerotidae), Deer (F. Cervidae), and Orangutan, while songbirds are regularly trapped for sale in the pet markets.

During the last year, Porcupine (F. Hystricidae) hunting in particular has seen a sharp increase, with the price for a single animal reaching Rp 300,000 ($26). It is believed that bezoar stones (masses of undigested organic and inorganic material) found inside the digestive tracts of some of these animals have medicinal or magical powers. Reportedly, stones sell in the city of Medan in Indonesia for Rp 5-10 million ($430 – $860) apiece.

Currently, FKL has only eight patrol teams working in cooperation with the Forestry Department to monitor only four of the 13 regencies that comprise the 2.6 million hectare Leuser Ecosystem.

Source: Mongabay