Doc Operates on Rescued Orangutan Shot by Poachers in Indonesia

The huge primate looks mellow and relaxed on the operating table.

APRIL 18, 2014— -- They might need a bigger operating table.

An Indonesian vet removed gun pellet shrapnel from a 14-year-old male orangutan reportedly rescued in Sumatra this week after being shot by poachers.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry works with orangutan rescue groups in the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, the only two locations where the endangered primates still live in the wild.

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The species’ biggest threats are habitat loss and the illegal pet trade, according to the Sumatran Orangutan Society.

Indonesia is rapidly losing forest space as palm oil plantations expand, and illegal trade of orangutans, particularly babies, continues to thrive, according to the group.

Orangutans are also hunted for their meat or to prevent damage to crops.