air gun pellets

Bornean orangutan with 104 air gun pellet wounds recovering well from three-hour operation.

Aan, the wounded female orangutan, who the Orangutan Foundation rescued a few weeks ago, has survived a 3 hour operation to remove 32 of the total 104 air gun pellets in her body.

Dr Zulfiqri, a veterinarian from the Orangutan Foundation, assisted by a specialist surgeon from the local Imanuddin Hospital, managed to remove 32 of the pellets lodged in her body and head.

Aan is recuperating in the Orangutan Foundation Veterinary Facility, in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.

When she was rescued from the oil palm plantation, she had already lost the sight in her left eye and was losing the sight in her right eye day-by-day. The X-rays showed a dozen pellet shots lodged in and around her eyes. Now she has lost sight in both eyes completely, so food and water for her must first be touched or placed in her hands.

It is unlikely that Aan can be released back into the wild, but will remain at Camp Gemini, a release camp within the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.  Dr Zulfiqri said that: “If necessary, surgery to remove more pellets will continue to be done in stages.”

The Head of the local Conservation Agency based in Pangkalan Bun, Mr Hartono said: “I hope that Aan will now feel more comfortable being in the forest living in a large holding cage. We will work together with the Orangutan Foundation to find the best way so that Aan can continue to live.”

Ashley Leiman OBE, Director of the Orangutan Foundation said:  “We have worked in Borneo over 20 years and have never had to rescue three orangutans in four days. The reasons for the increase could be due to the rapid loss of orangutan habitat or it could be because more people are reporting orangutans to the wildlife department whereas before they would have killed them.”

In October, the Orangutan Foundation, in cooperation with the Indonesian Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Central Kalimantan, successfully translocated two orangutans into the protected Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.  The larger male Herlino was rescued from an oil-palm plantation whilst the four-year old female Joson had been kept for the last 4 months in a small cage in a village.

Read full press release here.

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