Monti the orangutan arrived at International Animal Rescue (IAR) in 2009 when she was only six months old. She has since been described as one of the most intelligent and inquisitive orangutans in forestry school. Here caretakers also report that Monti keeps her distance from humans, a trait that is encouraged. Now, Monti has taken on the role as a surrogate mother to rescued orangutan baby, Anggun.

When Anggun lost her mother at the hands of the palm oil industry, she had no one to teach her the survival skills she would normally learn in the wild. Caretakers at IAR weren’t sure whether Monti would take Anggun in as her own, but much to their delight, they have become two peas in a pod! Monti’s natural maternal instincts kicked in and she has been a rock in little Anggun’s young life. Monti comforts Anggun when she cries, lets her eat and drink first, and has even taught her how to open a coconut. As an orphan herself, it’s clear that Monti is not only providing comfort to Anggun but Anggun to Monti as well. Monti’s new role is keeping her busy and filling her days with more purpose.

IAR saves animals from suffering around the world. Their work includes everything from rescuing and caring for dancing bears in India, rescuing primates from captivity in Indonesia, and sterilizing and vaccinating stray dogs and cats in developing countries. They rehabilitate and return rescued animals to their natural environment whenever possible but also provide a permanent home for animals who can no longer survive in the wild.

To learn more about IAR and support their efforts, click here. To learn how to fight against deforestation of the orangutan’s habitat, click here.