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Animal Version of Aron Ralston: Orangutan Tries to Gnaw Off Hand to Free Himself From Snare


"He is in intensive care -- rescuers think he is going to survive..."

The story of Aaron Ralston, a canyon climber who had to cut off his own trapped arm to save himself on one of his expeditions, was popularized in 2010 with the film 127 hours. An orangutan recently underwent a similar dilemma when he became trapped in a snare and tried to gnaw his hand off in a desperate measure to free himself.

Unlike Ralston though, the young adult male orangutan in Indonesia, who has been named Pelanski, was trapped for 240 hours -- 10 days. According to International Animal Rescue, Pelanski would have most likely made it all the way through his hand, but he was discovered by a local that reported the trapped animal to a wildlife conservation group.

IAR located Pelanski, sedated him and freed him from the trap. He was in critical condition from dehydration and lack of food and had contracted an infection from the snare and trying to chew through his hand. As of right now, Pelanski is in a clinic in Ketapang being treated. If he recovers, his arm and hand will need to be amputated.

The Daily Mail has more from photographer Chris Skone-Roberts on the orangutan's condition and treatment:

"He is in intensive care -- rescuers think he is going to survive, but he has to get strong enough before they can amputate his destroyed hand."

Describing the charity, Mr Skone-Roberts said: "They are like Thunderbirds when it comes to saving animals.

"They treated him like a paramedic would do."

IAR reports a local man admitting to setting the illegal traps -- the traps are banned in Indonesia for the suffering they can cause animals. The man reportedly knew of Pelanski's condition and tried to free him, but when he couldn't, failed to report it to the authorities for fear of prosecution. The traps were set to catch deer and wild boar.

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