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When Joss the baby orangutan arrived at International Animal Rescue (IAR) headquarters, workers were distressed to see that she was exhibiting many stereotypical behaviors of a severely traumatized animal. The small creature hugged herself tightly, threw herself onto floors, and was even seen banging her head against the wall.

“Joss hugs herself constantly because she misses the physical contact and comfort she would still be getting from her mother,” shared IAR vet Jaclyn Eng.

Joss had developed this coping mechanism during her distressing time as a captive pet in Borneo. There, her owner and his children often times treated Joss more like a toy or teddy bear, not realizing that this could greatly frighten the young orangutan.

While at first Joss was reluctant to her surroundings and did not permit herself to be held by IAR workers, she has shown incredible signs of recovery in just the past month!

 She’s been taking walks with Vet Ayu to do what orangutans do best in the wild — climb trees!

Joss 2

She’s definitely looking more relaxed and happy in her natural habitat!

Joss 1

Joss is still in quarantine but is receiving lots of love from IAR workers.

Joss 3

And if all goes well, she will be playing with other orangutans soon!

Joss 4


Joss is just one of the countless orangutan victims in Indonesia who have lost their homes due to the relentless destruction of the rainforest. There are many things we can all do to protect orangutans such as avoiding palm oil and supporting organizations like IAR who are working on the group to rescue and rehabilitate these animals.

To learn more about how you can help orangutans, check out these resources:

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