The Story of Budi the Baby Borneo Orangutan

The Story of Budi the Baby Borneo Orangutan

Posted by Sam Hopkins on 28th Jan 2015

Some of you may have seen in the Daily Mail the other week the article on Budi - an orangutan rescued by International Animal Rescue in Indonesian Borneo. If not, you can read about it here. For the first year of his life Budi was kept in a chicken cage and fed on nothing but condensed milk which was slowly killing him.

On arrival at IAR's orangutan rescue centre Budi's condition was extremely critical, and he was too frail to move or sit up on his own. He was showing signs of severe malnutrition and screaming in pain every time he was moved by the vets. Ever since Budi was captured while still a small baby, he had been given no solid food. Inevitably Budi presented signs of severe malnutrition. His body was swollen up with fluid owing to the lack of protein. Initial reports from the staff at IAR stated that Budi was extremely weak, unable to move and also suffering from severe anaemia. Thankfully however, Budi is now being monitored and observed round the clock by IAR's team of vets to help him on his road to recovery.

BUDI UPDATES from International Animal Rescue:

Budi - Update 1

We have received the following update from our vet Christine who is currently caring for Budi:

" We are glad to report that Budi does seem to be showing some positive signs of improvement. He is now able to sit up for short periods of time and has tasted the juice of his first fruit! All food is having to be blended as he still has not learnt how to chew but he enjoys sucking on slices of orange!"

Budi - Update 2

Thanks to our dedicated team of vets Budi continues to grow stronger each day. He is now able to hold a bottle to feed himself if it is not too heavy or full. However, it is heartbreaking to watch how exhausted he gets by doing a seemingly simple task. He breathes heavily, sometimes cries and typically falls right to sleep. But our team remains optimistic, Budi has a strong spirit and is being provided with supplements, vitamins, and all the love and care he needs to correct his abnormalities and continue to develop.

Budi - Update 3

Budi continues to improve everyday, and surprises his caregivers with his newly gained skills. Each milestone achieved is a wonder, but we remember that it's all relative. The swelling and pain in his body has receded, but this has revealed the misshapen and weak muscles of his arms and legs.

Budi - Update 4

We are pleased to say that as the swelling in Budi's little body continues to recede he is beginning to make more attempts to move on his own. The vets have started physical therapy and are searching for new ways to challenge his little body. Thank you all so much for supporting Budi throughout his recovery.

Budi - Update 5

We are delighted to share more Budi news! He is enjoying being out in the sunshine in his hammock which has been covered and filled with enrichment to encourage him to start moving and exploring the world around him! The vets have informed us that he has started to try and pull himself up in this low hammock, with some assistance. It is amazing to see Budi doing so well, we can't thank our team of vets enough for all their hard work.

Budi - Update 6

When Budi first arrived he didn't even have the muscle strength to open his own mouth. The vets would have to gently press the sides of his mouth so it would open enough for them to get food into him to help him grow stronger. Now, when he sees food arriving he opens his mouth wide and holds onto the vet's hand to help her guide it in! We are amazed by the wonderful progress Budi is making thanks to all the hard work and determination of our dedicated team of vets. Have a look at this video and see how much he has improved!


Budi - Update 7

We are excited to share this video with our supporters. This is one of Budi's daily physical therapy sessions at IAR's Orangutan Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre. Vet Ayu is counting 1...2...3...! in Indonesian. Budi is able to hold onto her fingers as she lifts him which is a massive improvement! Go Budi Go!


Budi - Update 8

BUDI HAS TAKEN HIS FIRST STEPS!! (We are very excited!!)


In this video you can see something truly amazing: Budi is walking! It is hard to believe that this is the same little orangutan who could not move or even sit up and who would cry out in pain when touched. Our team of vets have done incredible work and it is so wonderful to see that there is indeed hope for Budi's future after all he has suffered!

Please be assured that the little noises you can hear ...are not cries of pain, they are squeaks and chatters of concentration and determination. It takes some effort for Budi to use his muscles after ten months of being unable to move, so it will take some real determination and strength at first. But clearly Budi is a little fighter who isn't going to give up until he is back in the trees where he belongs"!

Budi - Update 9

In the wild orangutans spend 90% of their time in the trees. So if Budi was with his mother in the forest, he would be constantly clinging to her side as she moved through the trees. Instead, just a couple of months ago, Budi was found lying alone in a chicken cage, unable to move at all.

We are delighted that after having daily physiotherapy sessions with our medical team, Budi can move about more, and without pain. The team are now focusing on teaching Budi to climb. This will help strengthen the muscles in his legs as well as his arms. Watch as the vet gently encourages Budi to climb onto the frame and pull himself up!


If you would like to help Budi the Borneo orangutan and read more about his story, as well as watch a video of him, please don't hesitate to visit IAR's website via clicking here.

Have a great weekend everyone - TGP Team.


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