A Russian man has been arrested after allegedly trying to smuggle a drugged baby orangutan out of Bali airport in his hand luggage.

Andrei Zhestkov, 27, was stopped by Bali airport security, who noticed something suspicious while scanning his suitcase.

They searched his bag and found the two-year-old sedated orangutan in a wooden basket, which had been wrapped in clothing.

Mr Zhestkov claimed he had bought the orangutan for $4,200 and was trying to take it back to Russia as a pet, according to a spokesman from Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.

However, airport officials also found other animals in his luggage, including two tokay geckos and four chameleons.

They also confiscated a number of syringes and sedation drugs.

Mr Zhestkov could face time in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. 
Orangutans, among the most intelligent primates, are considered to be critically endangered.

Their numbers in the wild continue to plummet due to habitat destruction, the illegal pet trade and poachers. Second image supplied, Reuters

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