Quarantine officials at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali have thwarted a Russian national’s attempt to smuggle a 2-year-old orangutan to Russia.
Dewa Delanata, head of the airport’s quarantine office, said the orangutan had been drugged and placed in a basket.
"The Russian deliberately used an inhumane method to take the orangutan to Russia," the official said on Saturday.
The Russian has been identified as ZA.
The quarantine officer and airport security found the orangutan at the international departure area at around 10:30 p.m. on Friday, Dewa said. "At first, we thought it was a monkey. The officers were afraid to open the basket, as they thought the monkey would be aggressive and run loose in the departure area.”
An officer holds the 2-year-old orangutan. (Denpasar Quarantine office/Handout)
The basket was then taken to a room for further examination.
"When it was taken to the examination room and we opened it, we were shocked to find an orangutan," he said.
ZA claimed to have bought the orangutan for $US 3,000. The orangutan had been drugged, causing it to lose consciousness for two to three hours.
"The Russian also had injections and drugs in his bag. He said he planned to re-administer the drugs when they transited in Korea," Dewa added.
The officer also found two geckos and five lizards in the Russian's suitcase.
The case has been reported to the airport police for further investigation. The orangutan has been handed over to the Bali Natural Resources Conservation Agency ( BKSDA) to receive treatment.