When most people discover an injured or hungry baby animal in the wild without its mother, their instinct is to bring it home and care for it, which is exactly what one villager from Borneo did when he found a baby orangutan all alone.
Bapak Hendrigus discovered a small, malnourished orangutan in the middle of a palm oil plantation this past June and decided to take her home since her mother was nowhere to be found, and the baby wouldn’t survive long on her own.
Hendrigus and his family fed the baby orangutan, who they named Bonika, rice, sugar cane, baby formula, water, and biscuits since they didn’t know what orangutans eat, and kept her locked up with a chain to a wooden plank in their kitchen to keep her from escaping.
Aside from being let loose each morning to play with Hendrigus’ daughter and bath time, Bonika spent six months chained to the wall. “To be chained up alone on a narrow plank of wood without the company and comfort of her mother,” Alan Knight OBE, Chief Executive of International Animal Rescue, said of Bonita’s miserable first six months. Eventually, the family realized it was illegal to keep Bonika as a pet, and recently turned her over to the IAR Orangutan Centre who rushed to the home when they heard what was happening to the poor animal.
“It is heartening that Pak Hendrigus knew it was wrong to keep her as a pet and at least now she has a chance of living the life that nature intended,” Knight said about the baby orangutan, who will be returned to the wild after going through a rehabilitation process. “We are all delighted to have been able to rescue Bonika but also deeply saddened by the likely fate of her mother. No mother orangutan parts willingly with her baby and Bonika’s mother was almost certainly killed.”
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[Featured image: SWNS]