It seems unthinkable that we live in a world where human beings can still be so heartlessly cruel to those we share our earth with – members of the animal kingdom. Unfortunately, it appears these heinous acts are set to continue, and while we usually associate such behaviour with domestic pet abuse – such as abandoning unwanted cats and dogs to fend for themselves – sometimes it’s an altogether more exotic animal that needs our help!
That’s exactly what happens in the jungles of Borneo, the largest island in Indonesia. Instead of a family cat or dog, orangutans are in great demand, and although they are part of the illegal animal trade, these highly intelligent primates make desirable pets. But few understand or are prepared for the difficulties and challenges of looking after them. They can’t simply be left to come and go through the cat-flap.
And so, much like when a kitten is found in a post box or a dog found in a dumpster, baby orangutans are often thrown out with the trash. At just 5 months old, Gito was enduring a similar, horrific experience. The adorable baby orangutan was kept in a box after the novelty of owning him had worn off, and found by rescuers in a shocking condition. It seemed they were too late to save his young life.
Gito appeared to be almost mummified, such was the squalor of the conditions he was cast out in. With his arms crossed over his tiny body, his skin almost black and no visible sign of life, rescuers believed that Gito was past hope. Then, they felt a heartbeat!
The unsung heroes of International Animal Rescue had to work quickly, realising that Gito was hanging on for dear life, barely breathing and in an appalling condition. They discovered his blackened skin and deformity was caused by melange – a parasitic mite that can have devastating and often lethal effects on an animal’s health.
Rescuer’s worked tirelessly to massage coconut oil into Gito’s skin and bring the little darling back from the brink. It took nearly two months of this process, but finally, this baby orangutan is blossoming, with adorable, wide-eyed curiosity for the world again. If the transformation and video below doesn’t melt your heart – we don’t know what will! Sadly, many are not so lucky, but International Animal Rescue continues to fight the good fight. Good luck to you Gito!