Orangutan blinded after being shot with air pellet gun over 70 times
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An endangered orangutan on Indonesia's Sumatra Island was saved but is permanently blinded after being stabbed and shot more than 70 times with an air rifle, according to reports. 

Yenny Saraswati, a veterinarian with the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that an X-ray showed the orangutan was shot with at least 74 air pellets. The ape, named "Hope" by a rescue team, also has several injuries believed to be linked to sharp objects.


The news regarding the orangutan's condition came just days after a group of villagers found Hope severely wounded in the Aceh province’s Subulussalam district with a month-old baby, the AP reported. 

The baby died while being taken to a clinic in a neighboring village. 

“Hopefully Hope can pass this critical period, but she cannot be released to the wild anymore,” Saraswati said, adding that the orangutan also received surgery for a broken collarbone. 

Saraswati stated that only seven pellets have been removed from Hope because of veterinarians' efforts to repair the collarbone. 

Shooting and killing wildlife with easily-accessed air guns is a major issue in Indonesia, according to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program. The program told AP that it has treated more than 15 orangutans in the past 10 years that have been shot with air pellets. 

An orangutan was reportedly killed in 2018 after being shot about 130 times with an air gun. 

Orangutans inhabit the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. The New York Times, citing a study published last year, reported that about 150,000 orangutans in Borneo died between 1999 and 2015. Their deaths largely stemmed from deforestation and logging.

About 13,400 Sumatran orangutans remain living in the wild, making it a species that is categorized as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, according to AP.