UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Two men in Indonesia arrested for allegedly shooting and cutting off the head of an orangutan say it was self-defense.
Police say the men on the island of Borneo, both rubber plantation workers, said they were scared of the animal, and kept shooting because it wouldn’t die.
The Bornean orangutan also had at least 17 bullet wounds and its hair singed off.
Pictures of the body floating in a river circulated online and angered animal rights activists.
Police say the animal’s head was buried in the men’s backyard.
The men can face up to five years in jail under the country’s conservation law if convicted.
Bornean and Sumatran orangutans are both listed as critically endangered.
The World Wildlife Fund estimates Bornean orangutan’s population has decreased more than half in the last 60 years.
Their jungle habitats are under threat due to palm oil plantations and logging.