Cheeky orangutan scoffing man’s coconuts knocked out by dart gun in epic rescue

A wild orangutan was shot down from a tree with a dart gun after munching his way through a villager's coconut garden.

An epic rescue mission to safely relocate the hungry ape was caught on camera, capturing the dramatic moment he collapsed into a net.

The owner of the land in West Borneo has been praised by International Animal Rescue for not taking matters into his own and beating or gunning down his unwanted intruder.

Vets estimate the large male was around 15 years old and had been forced to forage from a rural village after his home forest had tragically burnt down in a devastating blaze.

Karmele L Sanchez, Director of IAR Indonesia, thanked the residents of Penjalaan village for the action they took.

She said: "We greatly appreciate the action of the villagers and the owner of the coconut garden in reporting the existence of the orangutan rather than taking action themselves and creating a human-orangutan conflict situation.

"We are very happy that people are aware and understand how to deal with potential conflicts of this nature."

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Towards the end of March this year, reports started flooding in of an orangutan hanging around the entrance to people's gardens in Penjalaan Village.

An expert team consisting of the BKSDA Kalimantan Barat, IAR Indonesia and the LPHD responded to the calls and found the 'old man of the forest' tucking into coconut reeds.

Their attempt to herd him back to its habitat failed because it had been torn apart by fire in 2019.

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It was instead decided that a mission would be organised over the following month to translocate the primate, named Jala, to the Tanagupa forest region in the area of Batu Barat Resort.

Members of the joint task force kept a close eye on the orangutan until moving day, when a dart gun was pulled out to sedate him for transit on a small river boat.

Almost immediately after being shot and the drug entered his bloodstream, Jala was completely knocked out and fell down into the net readied by his rescuers.

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Vets checks and samples taken from Jala all revealed normal results meaning he was declared fit for moving to pastures new, far away from any villages.

Wildlife Rescue Unit, the Natural Resources Conservation Centre, representatives from Gunung Palung National Park, IAR Indonesia and the Village Forest Management Agency of Penjalaan all clubbed together to make the rescue happen.

Stunning images show the huge effort from various organisations to move the teenage ape across water, to a habitat where he is not stealing food from back gardens.

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International Animal Rescue reports that at the end of Jala's lengthy journey, he nimbly climbed up a tree the moment the door of his transport crate opened.

Head of Gunung Palung National Park, M. Ari Wibawanto said: "We will continue to monitor the movement of orangutans while in the Gunung Palung area and ensure a safe and healthy life for them."

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The Director of Biodiversity Conservation, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indra Exploitasia, has recently stated that the best efforts had been made by the government to ensure the survival of orangutans.

On the back of the rescue, Karmele L Sanchez has issued a rallying cry for unity in protecting wild habitats.

Sanchez added: "Now is the time for all parties involved, whether NGOs, private companies, government agencies, communities and institutions to stand shoulder to shoulder and look for solutions on issues of habitat."

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