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PRESS RELEASE: 40 Shotgun Pellets Found in an Orangutan

December 5, 2014

One more victim as a result of conflict between the oil palm industry and wildlife. The BOS Foundation in Nyaru Menteng found more than 40 shotgun pellets in the body of an adult female orangutan delivered by the Central Kalimantan Conservation of Natural Resources Authority (BKSDA) on Thursday morning. The team did not manage to save her life.

Nyaru Menteng, Friday 5 December 2014. The team at the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation in Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan received an adult female orangutan in a horrific condition at around 3am on Thursday, 4 December 2014. Both of her legs and arms were broken and x-ray results showed more than 40 shotgun pellets in her body.

The orangutan when she first arrived in Nyaru Menteng

The orangutan was delivered and handed over to the BOS Foundation by Mr. Nandang from the Central Kalimantan BKSDA. She was discovered at Barunang Miri Estate or PT. Surya Inti Sawit Kahuripan (SISK), an oil palm company that is a subsidiary of Makin Group. Based on the chronology report prepared and signed by the representatives of the company, namely Mr. Arifin Susilo, Mr. Seno and Mr. Nyoto Suroso, the orangutan was found wounded and weak on Wednesday, 3 December 2014 at around 6.30 am in Block F37 – Sector 7 by Mr. Seno, a maintenance worker who at the time was doing some work in that location. The discovery was reported to BKSDA, who then evacuated and delivered the orangutan to the BOS Foundation in Nyaru Menteng the next day.

The orangutan was so thin due to malnutrition

The vet team in Nyaru Menteng immediately checked the state of this female orangutan and found that her right leg was broken at the thigh, her left arm was decomposing, her upper left arm was also broken with open wounds, and she was very thin due to malnutrition. The team estimated that her injuries were more than three days old. X-ray results also showed 10 shotgun pellets in her head, 8 pellets in her left leg and pelvis, 18 pellets in her right leg and pelvis, as well as 6 pellets in her chest and right arm.

Head x-ray result

The vet team conducted surgery on her and, upon approval from BKSDA, decided to amputate her badly decomposed left arm. Her right leg was cleaned and sutured. But despite the team’s best efforts, the orangutan finally died at 6.07 pm on Thursday, 4 December 2014, adding to the long list of victims resulting from the on-going conflict between industry and wildlife, as well as unsustainable practices of natural resource exploitation.

Nyaru Menteng vet team conducted surgery on the orangutan

The BOS Foundation already has a long list of orangutans they have rescued from various oil palm plantations owned by Makin Group. Until the time this news was released, the total number of orangutans rescued from Makin Group plantations is 166. A total of 100 individuals have been successfully translocated into protected forests in the surrounding areas. Nineteen individuals eventually died including this last victim. While 47 are still being cared for by BOS Foundation in Nyaru Menteng, 44 of which are releaseable and awaiting their turn to return to the wild, and 3 will not be able to be released and must remain in Nyaru Menteng for the rest of their lives.

This incident is no longer a big surprise. Similar incidents happen repeatedly all over Indonesia and often received serious attention from various parties. Orangutans are also officially protected by the Indonesian Law No. 5/1990. Conservation efforts for orangutans are neatly detailed in the Strategy and Action Plan for Indonesian Orangutan Conservation 2007-20017 launched by the former president of Indonesia, Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, during the United Nation Climate Change Conference in Bali in December 2007. However, the success of orangutan conservation efforts heavily relies on the support from the concerned parties, including the government, the local communities, and the private sector; in this particular case, industries engaged in the exploitation of natural resources.

Several pellets that were successfully retrieved from the orangutan’s body

The BOS Foundation expects commitment and real action from the Government, the public, and the private sector to protect orangutans, especially through practices of sustainable management of natural resources and through land allocation as suitable habitat for orangutans. The orangutan is an umbrella species which plays an important role in forest regeneration and furthermore a symbol of Indonesian’s wildlife and pride. It’s high time that all parties become more concerned about orangutan conservation efforts. Apart from protecting orangutans from extinction, preserving orangutan habitat also supports natural resource conservation and environmental benefits, which provide a decent quality of life and well being for humans.


Media Contact: 

Monterado Fridman (Agung)

Nyaru Menteng Communications and Education Coordinator


Paulina L. Ela

Communication Specialist



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