Endangered Sumatran orangutan found shot 24 times rescued

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Only a few Sumatran orangutans remain alive on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. A large male was found late last week with 24 air-pellets in his body – including 16 lodged in his head.

According to Tempo, the species have lived in the rain forests which are being destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations. The 25-year-old ape, named Paguh has been recovereing at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP). In addition to the 16 bullets in his head, there were four in his hands and feet, three in his hip and one in his abdomen. He was found by staff working for the agency who had been conducting a patrol.

Veterinarians are optimistic Paguh will survive, although he has been left blind. At first, his treating veterinarians had hoped his eyes were not completely damaged or at least one of them could have been saved, but sadly, he will remain blind for the rest of his life.

This is not the first incident like this. Earlier in the year, a female orangutan named Hope was found with 74 air-pellets in her body.

Only a few thousand individual Sumatran orangutans survive on the island that has since changed from an idyllic paradise for these wild animals to live and reproduce, to one of cleared land used for man’s insatiable demand for palm oil. Palm oil is found everywhere – from supermarket shelves, to cosmetics, toiletries and food.

And once again, the human demand for palm oil outweighs the importance of the existence of these beautiful apes. Any way to make a buck!

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