Baby orangutan starves to death after mother shot with 74 pellets

Baby orangutan starves to death after its mother is shot with 74 pellets in ‘savage attack’ that left her too badly injured to feed the young ape

  • Primate called Hope was blasted by 74 shots from an air rifle in Aceh, Indonesia
  • She was unable to care for her one-month-old baby and he later died
  • Hope was treated in hospital for broken bones, cuts and bruises from the torture
  • The orangutan is still receiving rehabilitation at the North Sumatran centre

A baby orangutan starved to death after his mother was shot with 74 pellets in a ‘savage attack’ that left her too badly injured to save her youngster. 

Rescue workers discovered the 30-year-old primate, now given the name Hope, curled up on the forest floor in Indonesia’s Aceh province on March 9.

She had been repeatedly shot with metal pellets by cruel thugs in an unprovoked ‘savage attack’, conservationists said.

Her one-month-old baby son was slumped by her side, severely dehydrated and malnourished after being unable to fend for himself. He was unable to survive.

Hope receiving treatment at the veterinary clinic in North Sumatra after she was left with broken bones, lacerations and 74 pellets which had been fired into her

Hope’s one-month-old baby was severely malnourished and dehydrated when rescuers found them and succumbed to illness before he could be saved

An x-ray taken by vets in Indonesia shows the metal pellets which had been fired into the majestic primate with an air rifle

The infant succumbed to illness shortly after he was taken with his mother to a rehabilitation centre in North Sumatra province.

Government officials are now hunting those behind the senseless attack, which has left the mother wounded and facing an uphill struggle to return back to the wild.

Sapto Aji Prabowo, the head of the government-run Nature Conservancy Agency in Aceh on Sumatra island, said the mother orangutan had suffered broken bones, bruises and cuts to her legs.

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He said: ‘An X-ray photo showed 74 airgun pellets spread all over its body. She was severely injured and her child eventually died of severe nutritional deficiencies and trauma.

‘Truly barbaric are those people who tortured them. The orangutan is currently in the care of the BKSDA.’

Orangutans are classified as a ‘critically endangered’ species and number around 111,000 in the wild on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, according to the World Wildlife Fund conservation group. 

The 30-year-old primate is being held at the rehabilitation as she continues her recovery without her newborn

Air rifle bullets littered Hope’s body from the top chest and head (left) down to her pelvis and legs (right)

The Forestry and Environment Ministry said in a statement that she would need therapy before being released back into the wild.

‘We condemn the savage attack on orangutans carried out by irresponsible people,’ a spokesman said.

Conservationists have said the survival of orangutans is threatened by widespread poaching and the destruction of their habitat through the logging industry.

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