Last Sunday, the Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Aceh (BKSDA) managed to rescue an orangutan with 74 air-rifle rounds in its body. The 30-year-old female orangutan, who was initially called OU, has been renamed to Hope.
“Hope is getting better. She is starting to eat,” said Sapto Aji Prabowo, Chief of the BKSDA. Hope was found in a critical condition with her one-month-old baby at a plantation owned by a villager in Aceh. The baby died shortly after, due to malnutrition and stress. “The orangutans came to a villager’s plantation and they were considered to be a threat by the owner who then attempted to expel the animals,” Sapto Aji added.
Law enforcement head of Aceh Conservation Agency, Jefrizal, maintained that he will investigate further about the attack. “We will investigate whether this was just an incident and whether or not the mafia has been involved,” he said.
Orangutans only number around 100,000 and are considered to be critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Over the years, farmers and hunters have been blamed for a string of fatal attacks on the member of the Great Ape family. The BKSDA team aims to release Hope into the wild as soon as she makes a complete recovery.