A Russian tourist has been arrested after trying to smuggle a drugged orangutan out of the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
Indonesian authorities said 27-year-old Andrei Zhestkov was detained at the airport on Friday after an X-ray showed the two-year-old male orangutan in a rattan basket inside his luggage.
Ketut Catur Marbawa, from Bali province’s conservation agency, said customs officers also found allergy pills, two geckos and five lizards in the man’s suitcase. All the animals were alive.
He said Zhestkok told authorities he bought the orangutan for 3,000 US dollars (£2,270) from a market on Indonesia’s main island of Java after a friend told him he could bring it home as a pet.
He had deliberately fed the animal allergy pills mixed with milk so it would lose consciousness for up to three hours.
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Mr Marbawa said Zhestkov had yet to be charged because police were still investigating to see if there were links to international syndicates involved in wildlife trafficking.
He said the Russian mission in Bali had been informed about the case.
Orangutans are classed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and there are only 13,400 Sumatran orangutans left in the wild.