Villagers attack orangutan mother and baby trying to escape raging forest fires
Published 11/11/2015 | 14:02
A Borneo orangutan and her baby managed to escape blazing forest fires only to be tied up and stoned by locals.
The distressed mother and her youngster were found clinging tightly to each another as angry villagers threw rocks at the pair and attempted to tie them up.
The two animals were saved by charity International Animal Rescue, who gave the mother an anesthetic and removed rope from her wrists.
Increasing numbers of orangutans have been making their way to nearby villages to find food, but locals class them as unwanted pests.
"It was very fortunate our rescue team got there in time, otherwise the orangutans would have been killed," Karmele Llano Sanchez, of International Animal Rescue, told AFP.
"The mother was quite skinny because she had not been eating for at least a month since the fires started."
Illegal forest and agricultural fires have raged across Borneo and Indonesia for the past few months
They were deliberately started in order to to cheaply clear land for plantations.
The pair of apes, who were rescued last month in West Kalimantan province, have since been released back into the wild after undergoing medical check-ups.
International Animal Rescue will continue to monitor their health.
The UK-based charity has conducted more than a dozen operations in the past two months to rescue orangutans who have moved away from their natural habitats strayed.