There are some animals that simply cannot be kept as pets – no matter how adorable they are and how much we would like to take care of them. Orangutans are surely one of these animals, but, despite that, cases of these primates living in captivity are not as rare as one would imagine. Little orangutans experience severe trauma when they are taken out of their natural habitat and forced into the exotic pet trade. Baby orangutans often suffer the unbelievable shock of seeing their mothers killed before they are captured in order to be sold, only to then endure a completely alien and unnatural life within a human home.
Sadly, this was the fate for Bonya, a recently rescued young orangutan. Bonya was rescued by the International Animal Rescue from AIR Hitam Hilir Village where she had been kept as a pet. According to rescuers, she is only one-year-old and has lived in captivity since she was just a few month old.
The “owner” of the little orangutan claimed that he found her alone on the edge of a forest. However, he admitted that he realized keeping orangutans as pets was illegal. It is impossible to know now what exactly happened to Bonya before she was found.
Bonya is now in International Animal Rescue’s baby school and she is making steps towards recovering from the trauma.
During her first day, she kept trying to hug another orangutan baby. She then lost herself in climbing the trees, which is something she turned out to be a real master at.
She is already foraging for food and eating leaves – a sure sign that she is acclimating well and getting used to her new life!
Keeping orangutans as pets is a practice that has to be cut short, especially the illegal orangutan pet trade is flourishing because of it. The orangutan species is teetering on the edge of extinction, largely due to human action, so if we hope to save these incredible animals we must put and end to the illegal pet trade.
Click here to visit International Animal Rescue’s website and learn more about what you can do to help this case.
All image source: International Animal Rescue