International Animal Rescue is sharing the story of Didik, a young orangutan whose life was changed forever when he was shot by a poacher.

Didik was living peacefully in the treetops of a rainforest with his mother when the poacher saw him, watching the family climbing amongst the trees. Instead of appreciating these beautiful, graceful animals in their natural habitat, this person saw only profit.  This cruel person took aim, killing Didik’s mother and shooting Didik through the shoulder.

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The poacher captured the injured orangutan and sold him to someone in West Borneo. You would think the first instinct of this new person taking Didik into their care would be to have him treated for his painful wound. But of course it is illegal in Indonesia to keep orangutans as pets, so the bullet wound was left to fester.

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Didik was eventually abandoned in a shop, and as soon as the local foresty department was made aware of him, they contacted International Animal Rescue. They ensured Didik received medical care by rushing him to their center for emergency treatment. 

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Can you imagine how terrified poor Didik would have been by this point? In agony, unable to move without a reminder of that pain, passed from stranger to stranger, just after losing his mom? The bond between orangutans and their young are comparable of that with our own children. Can you imagine a child alone in the world and injured, as Didik was? 

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But as you can see in these photos, his sad story seems to be juxtaposed with these happy images! It’s been two and a half years since Didik’s capture, and he is thriving in International Animal Rescue’s rehabilitation center. He has been through baby school and moved onto forest school where he is proving himself to be one of the more dominant orangutans. He also loves his food, so his belly is getting nice and big! 

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Didik now spends his days exploring the forests with his friends, building nests, and developing survival skills. And though there is nothing that can bring back his mother, International Animal Rescue is doing everything they possibly can to give Didik the life he almost missed out on. Soon he will be released back into the rainforest where he belongs and know freedom once again.

International Animal Rescue works tirelessly to rescue and rehabilitate animals around the world just like they have Didik. Without their involvement, how many other animals end up being exploited like Didik almost was? How many more will be poached, separated from their families, and be left without homes? They need our help to keep going with this work; please consider making a donation. Visit their Facebook page to find out more!

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Image Source: International Animal Rescue