Shot, Suffering, But Finally Rescued –Meet Didik The Orphaned Baby Orangutan

Shot, Suffering, But Finally Rescued –Meet Didik The Orphaned Baby Orangutan

Posted by Connor Whelan on 4th Jul 2016

Here at The Great Projects we are often tasked with bringing you some incredibly sad stories about the animal world, but this one is sadder than most. Put quite simply, if it wasn’t for the staff from International Animal Rescue finding and helping Didik, he would be dead.

Borneo orangutan

This tiny orangutan was wounded when poachers shot his mother dead in an attempt to capture him and sell him as a pet. Young orangutans normally spend the first seven years of their lives with their mothers in the wild, so to be ripped away when he was this young has caused Didik immense psychological trauma.

The orphaned orangutan was rescued from a shop in West Borneo. Chances are high that he was dumped here because his owner knew that keeping a baby orangutan was illegal. Didik’s owner did not provide any medical care for him either, so the local Forestry Departments call to the IAR rescue team came just in time.

Orphaned baby orangutan

When he reached the veterinary clinic, Didik was given a check-up and he was found to be suffering from a fungal skin infection and an eye infection. Due to the separation from his mother, Didik is also unsure of how to even eat as this is a behaviour he would have learned from his now deceased parent. Because of this, Didik is suffering from severe malnutrition and stunted growth.

Dr Karmele Llano Sanchez, vet and programme director at IAR Indonesia said: “his body is very small but after examining his teeth we estimate him to be about 18 months old. For an animal like an orangutan, witnessing the death of its mother is a profoundly shocking experience. That is undoubtedly why Didik looks so sad and depressed.”

Now safely in the care of the IAR team, Didik is being given nutritious food and vitamin supplements by the team of vets and carers in an attempt to build his strength up. Once this is done, Didik will begin the long and arduous process of learning how to be an orangutan without the help of his natural mother.

Didiks story follows a worrying familiar trend of young orangutans being orphaned after their mothers have been killed, and it is a trend that must be reversed. If you want to play your part in orangutan conservation efforts, then check out the IAR Orangutan Project to help create a safe place for rescued babies like Didik.


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