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Orangutan rescued 8 years ago is finally ready for release

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After undergoing eight years of rehabilitation, an orangutan rescued as a baby is now prepared for release into its natural habitat. Specially thanks to dedicated and specialized care and training.

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An orangutan, initially rescued from severe malnutrition and immobility, is now set for release following specialized veterinary care and physiotherapy.

Budi, the orphan orangutan whose heart-wrenching story went viral back in 2014, has finally started the journey of being reintroduced to the rainforest. This is after a heroic eight-year journey of rehabilitation. A period focused on building strength, socializing, and acquiring essential skills to thrive as an orangutan in the wild.

About Budi

During the initial year of his life, young orangutan Budi was kept as a pet inside a chicken cage and exclusively fed condensed milk. A resident of Kubing in Ketapang had taken Budi in as a pet, but when his health deteriorated significantly, they could no longer manage his care. In December 2014, Budi’s suffering and distress finally came to an end when he was rescued.

The journey to the rescue center was arduous, taking over 10 hours by both boat and road. Budi’s condition was exceptionally critical due to his prolonged captivity as a small baby, during which he had never been introduced to solid food, leading to severe malnutrition. His body had swollen with fluid retention due to the lack of protein. Initial reports from the closely monitoring veterinary staff during his journey described him as extremely frail, immobile, and suffering from severe anemia.

About the International Animal Rescue

The situation facing orangutans in Indonesia has reached a critical point, posing a serious threat to their survival. These highly endangered primates are experiencing suffering and mortality due to the loss of their natural habitats. This is primarily caused by palm oil production and large-scale industrial agriculture, as well as poaching.

International Animal Rescue is addressing this issue comprehensively, taking action on multiple fronts. This includes rescuing and rehabilitating individual animals for their eventual release into the wild, safeguarding forests and engaging in reforestation efforts. Additionally, conducting outreach and educational initiatives within communities. They collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure the long-term survival of the orangutan species, the well-being of local communities, and the preservation of the forest habitats that are essential for both animals and people to thrive.

More about the team

IAR Indonesia collaborates with local and national government bodies. The team operates from West Kalimantan, a province located in the southern region on the island of Borneo. At the conservation center situated in Ketapang, IAR focuses on rehabilitating orangutans rescued from the wild or kept as pets. They prepare them for a return to their natural habitat, where they can live according to their natural instincts and behaviors.

Orangutans in Indonesia

Indonesian orangutans, found exclusively on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, are among the world’s most endangered primates. There are three species: the Sumatran orangutan, Bornean orangutan, and the recently identified Tapanuli orangutan. These remarkable creatures are critically threatened due to habitat loss, primarily driven by palm oil production and deforestation.

Illegal hunting and the pet trade further endanger them. Conservation efforts, led by organizations like International Animal Rescue, focus on rehabilitating rescued orangutans for eventual release into protected forests. Plus forest preservation, community engagement, and cooperation with various stakeholders to secure the survival of these iconic species.


Learn more about our hairy cousins here:

Orangutan Babysits Tiger Cubs: A Deeper Look

Orangutan Driving to the Banana Store

Best Places to See Orangutans

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