Baby orangutans are very emotional animals, dealing with trauma much like human beings.
Police rescued two baby orangutans, a 1-year-old male, and an 8-month-old female stolen from their mothers and clearly traumatized.
The two infants were locked up in small cages and packed into shipping containers. The rescue team arrived moments before they were shipped. The criminal who had stolen the babies listed them for sale on the internet for about $224 US dollars.
Lis Key, the PR and communications manager for International Animal Rescue (IAR) was part of the rescue team. She explains:
“The baby orangutans were traumatized after being torn from their mothers and being deprived of the food and protection their mothers provided for them.”
They were suffering both physically and psychologically,” Key said. When a person has suffered such a loss they can rock back and forth to try to comfort themselves. That’s exactly what one of the orangutans was doing.
Though nothing will replace their mothers’ love and care, the orangutans are now in safe hands with the IAR team.
“Initially they are given soft teddy bears to cling to for comfort and warmth. They will be cared for and when they are out of quarantine, will meet other orphans”
Sadly this is not an isolated case of kidnapped orangutans. The center presently is caring for 111 other orphaned orangutans. Karmele Llano Sanchez, the program director at IAR explains:
“Large numbers of orangutans undergoing rehabilitation, with more having to be rescued, makes it harder to find safe places where we can release them.”
Without mothers to teach them, the orphans will need to go through several years of rehabilitation.