Orangutans in South East Asia are in peril.
The region's rainforests are rapidly disappearing from deforestation, displacing the primates from their homes. Babies are being taken illegally from their mothers and sold as pets.
The International Animal Rescue (IAR) is coming to the aid of these great animals. Staff at the organization are teaching young orangutans who were illegally sold to climb, play and fight for themselves before being released back to their natural habitat.
They undergo a lengthy rehabilitation process to prepare them for life in the wild.
"It’s a tragedy to find a baby orangutan without its mother, alone, vulnerable and distressed," IAR CEO Alan Knight OBE said. "These babies should have been in its mother’s care for the next six or seven years of its life. Instead, she is nowhere to be found. It’s highly likely that she has been killed as yet another victim of hunters or agricultural workers protecting their crops. Thankfully they are in safe hands now and will be given expert treatment and care at our center which is currently home to 109 rescued orangutans.”
Added Tantyo Bangun, head of IAR’s Indonesia Program: "Eighty percent of the orangutan population is living outside conservation areas, in plantations and production forests. It is vital for all parties to participate so that the orangutan population can be managed properly by protecting the remaining forests and creating wildlife corridors, so that future baby orangutans are spared."
IAR has released more than 10 orangutans into the wild so far this year.