Chief of the Kutai Timur police resort Senior Adjunct Commissioner Teddy Ristiawan stated here on Saturday that all suspects living near the location where the orangutan`s body was found were arrested on Thursday.
"After intensively questioning them, they were declared as suspects on Friday," he noted.
The arrests of the five suspects were made eight days after the police conducted an investigation into the death of the primate found with some 130 air gun bullets in its body.
"They are crop farmers and know that hurting orangutans is against the law. They shot the animal, as it had damaged their crops," he noted.
Nasir, 55; Andi, 37, Nasir`s in-law; Rustam, 37, Nasir`s son; Hendri, 13, Andi`s younger brother; and Muis, 36, Nasir`s neighbor, are currently being held at the Kutai Timur police station.
"We have confiscated four guns from them as evidence. We held the adults but not the underage child," he noted.
The suspects have allegedly violated Law No. 5 of 1990 on the conservation of natural resources and the ecosystem.
"They face a maximum jail term of five years and a fine of Rp100 million," he noted.
The primate, aged around five to seven years, was discovered in a wounded state by villagers on Saturday (Feb 3) at the Kutai National Park area in Teluk Pandan Village, Kutai Timur District.
The park rangers immediately evacuated the animal after receiving a report about it for treatment. However, the orangutan succumbed to serious injuries on Tuesday (Feb 2) at around 1:55 a.m. local time.
A team of doctors was only able to remove 48 out of around 130 bullets found lodged mostly in the head of the animal during an operation that lasted from Tuesday night through Wednesday morning.
Doctors also discovered at least 19 old and new sharp object wounds on the body of the animal. (*)