Joss, the baby orangutan in the video, was rescued from life as a pet in Borneo. After being purchased from the black market, this baby orangutan spent two years of her short life in a family’s home, completely devoid of contact with other orangutans. Thankfully, the man who had purchased her realized that it’s illegal to keep orangutans as pets and handed her over to International Animal Rescue.
Just like human children, the early years of an orangutan’s life are critical to their growth and development. In Joss’s case, not only was she missing the care that her mother would have given her, she was also in a strange, unfamiliar environment surrounded by humans who, due to ignorance, treated her no better than a toy. As a result of what she’s been through, little Joss now suffers from severe mental trauma, exhibited through stereotypic behaviors like cradling herself in her arms and banging her head against the wall. Her rescuers think that she clings to herself to try and replicate the comfort she would get from her mother. Making this sad story even more tragic, Alan Knight, the Chief Executive of International Animal Rescue, says that it’s very likely that Joss witnessed the murder of her own mother as she was snatched away to be sold as a pet.
It’s going to take years of patience and understanding on the part of the kindhearted volunteers at Animal Rescue International to help Joss the orangutan recover, but we know that she’s in good hands. They hope to eventually release her back into the wild, where she’ll be free.
To learn more about Joss’s story, visit her page on official International Animal Rescue website.