Russian tourist arrested for trying to smuggle drugged orangutan out of Bali | World News


A Russian tourist has been arrested for trying to smuggle a drugged orangutan out of the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

Andrei Zhestkov was taken into custody at the airport after an X-ray found the two-year-old male ape in a rattan basket inside his luggage.

A spokesman for Bali province’s conservation agency said Zhestkok told authorities he deliberately fed the orangutan allergy pills mixed with milk, causing the animal to lose consciousness for up to three hours.

He told them he planned to re-dose the animal during a transit in Seoul.

Zhestkov also told officials he bought the orangutan for $3,000 (£2,270) from a market on Indonesia’s main island of Java after being told by a friend that he could bring it home as a pet.

Customs officers also discovered two geckos and five lizards in the man’s suitcase – all the animals were alive.

He is yet to be charged as police are still investigating to see if there are links to international syndicates involved in wildlife trafficking.

The Russian could face up to five years in prison and $7,000 (£5,300) in fines for smuggling.

Orangutans are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Only around 13,400 Sumatran orangutans remain in the wild.

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