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A Bolshevik Acting Beastly to Baby Bon-Bon

Police Arrest Russian at Bali Airport with Heavily-Drugged Baby Orangutan Concealed in his Luggage

Quarantine authorities at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport managed to thwart the smuggling of an infant orangutan that had been heavily drugged and concealed in a basket by Zhestkov Andrei - a Russian trying to smugggle the endangered animal to his home country.

The State-owned New Agency Antara, quoted the officer in charge of Quarantine at Bali’s Airport who confirmed to the press the effort to smuggle a highly endangered primate.

Infant orangutans taken into captivity are typically the result of poachers first killing the animal’s mother who would not otherwise willingly surrender her offspring.

The animal was discovered by Quarantine and Aviation Security (Avsec) officers in the international departure area on Friday evening, March 23, 2019, at 10:30 pm. The animal had been heavily drugged to prevent it being discovered and then placed into wicker basket by the Russian tourist, Zhestkov Andrei.

When officials suspected an animal was concealed in the basket they were reluctant to open the basket fearing an aggressive monkey was inside that would run wild in the departure terminal once the bag was opened. However, when the basket was removed to an examination room, officer were able to identify the animal as an infant orangutan.

The Russian told the quarantine officials that he had purchased the orangutan in Java for US$300. The man said the male orangutan was a male of about two years of age and had been drugged to knock the primate out for 2-3 hours.

Plans were to fly the animal to South Korea where the Russian planned to administer more drugs for the next leg of the trip to Russia.

Quarantine officials describe the treatment of the orangutan by the Russian as "very sadistic." Animal rescuers have given the orangutan the name of Bonbon. Doctors say the orangutan remains active but has a pale complexion and is suffering from digestive problems with an enlarged abdomen. Doctors suspect the over administration of sedatives may be causing an accumulation of gas in the animal’s digestive tract.

In addition to the orangutan, the man’s luggage also included two gecko’s and five lizards.

The juvenile orangutan is now being cared for at The Bali Safari and Marine Park while conservation experts asses the animal’s health, emotional trauma, and potential for successful reintegration into the wild.

The Russian now has his own cage while he await processing through the Indonesia criminal justice system.

The maximum penalty under the Conservation and Natural Resource Law Number 5 of 1990 can send the Russian to joil for a maximum of 5 years and a fine of Rp. 100 million.

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