An endangered orangutan with a young baby on Indonesia ’s Sumatra island was blinded after being shot at least 74 times with an air gun, an official and veterinary surgeon said on Monday. An X-ray showed at least 74 air gun pellets in its body, including four in its left eye and two in the right, said Yenny Saraswati, a veterinary surgeon with the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program. She said the animal, named “Hope” by the team of rescuers, was blinded by the shooting and also had several open wounds believed to have been caused by sharp objects. She said Hope underwent surgery on Sunday to repair a broken collarbone and was recovering. Conflicts between orangutans and people have increased as the palm oil and paper industries shrink the animals’ jungle habitat. Villagers spotted the severely wounded orangutan in a farm in Aceh province’s Subulussalam district last week with its month-old baby, which was suffering from critical malnutrition, said Sapto Aji Prabowo, who heads the Aceh provincial conservation agency. The baby died as rescuers rushed the two animals to an orangutan veterinary clinic in neighbouring North Sumatra province’s Sibolangit district. Bornean orangutan sliding towards extinction, conservationists say “Hopefully Hope can pass this critical period, but she cannot be released to the wild any more,” Saraswati said, adding that during the operation they only removed seven of the gun pellets because they had to prioritise fixing the animal’s broken collarbone and the risk of infection that it posed. The orangutan conservation programme said the use of readily available air guns to shoot and kill wildlife, including orangutans, is a major problem in Indonesia. It said in the last 10 years, it has treated more than 15 orangutans with a total of nearly 500 air gun pellets in their bodies. Last year, an orangutan in the Indonesian part of Borneo died after being shot at least 130 times with an air gun, the second known killing of an orangutan that year. Indonesians arrested for shooting orangutan 130 times A comprehensive study of Borneo’s orangutans in 2018 estimated that their numbers had plummeted by more than 100,000 since 1999, as the palm oil and paper industries shrink their habitat and fatal conflicts with people increase. Only around 13,400 Sumatran orangutans remain in the wild. The species is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.