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Russian arrested smuggling drugged orangutan in Indonesia

March 24, 2019 GMT

DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) — Authorities say they have arrested a Russian tourist who was attempting to smuggle a drugged orangutan out of Indonesia’s resort island of Bali.

Ketut Catur Marbawa from Bali province’s conservation agency says 27-year-old Andrei Zhestkov was captured late Friday at the airport after an X-ray found the 2-year-old male orangutan in a rattan basket inside his luggage.

Marbawa said Sunday that customs officers also found allergy pills, two geckos and five lizards in the man’s suitcase. All animals the animals were alive.

He said that Zhestkok told authorities he deliberately fed the orangutan allergy pills mixed with milk, causing the animal to lose consciousness for up to three hours. He told them he planned to re-dose the animal during a transit in Seoul.