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Aan the orangutan recovering after being shot 100 times with airgun

The orangutan, thought to be around 15 years old, was rescued by conservation workers who found a staggering 104 pellets lodged in her vital organs, eyes and ears.

A brave orangutan is on the miraculous road to recovery after she was cruelly shot more than 100 times with an airgun.

Aan the great ape was repeatedly attacked by callous yobs who objected to her roaming around an oil plantation in Borneo, Indonesia.

The orangutan, thought to be around 15 years old, was rescued by conservation workers who found a staggering 104 pellets lodged in her vital organs, eyes and ears.

Horrifying x-rays show the extent of her cruel treatment, after which vets performed vital surgery to remove 37 pellets from her head and a further 67 from the rest of her body.

Horrific: An x-ray shows more than 30 pellets lodged in Aan's head (SWNS)


The endangered ape - left blind by the repeated attacks - underwent a three-hour procedure to treat the airgun wounds and is now making a remarkable recovery.

Dr Zulfiqri, a veterinarian from the British-based Orangutan Foundation, removed 32 of the pellets lodged in her body and head during a three-hour surgery at the BKSDA-Kalteng office in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan.

Aan is now recovering at the Orangutan Foundation Veterinary Facility where she is taking food and water and "showing an incredible resilience against all she has undergone".

But Aan is now blind with scans showing a dozen pellets lodged in and around her eyes - meaning food and water must be touched or placed in her hands.

The foundation says it is now unlikely Aan will ever be released back into the wild because she will be an easy target for hunters and angry farmers who view orangutans as pests.

Her story is another tragic example of the plight faced by orangutans in the wild as they have their habitat destroyed.

Aan, 15, pictured before she received vital surgery (SWNS)

Despite being protected by law, orangutans live in rainforests which are being destroyed through logging and conversion to oil-palm plantations.

It is hoped her experience will help raise awareness of the cruel situation suffered by orangutans in the wild - and encourage tough punishments on those who hunt and kill the endangered animals.

Earlier this year four men were sent to jail for eight months for shooting and beating to death three orangutans and long-nosed monkeys in East Kalimantan.

Mr Bambang Hartono, head of the local conservation agency, 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 added: "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."

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