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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Anyin the baby orangutan loses her fight for life

A baby orangutan in the care of IAR's rescue centre in Borneo has tragically died. Anyin was critically ill and the team suspected she had typhoid fever, a human disease which can prove deadly for orangutans. 

IAR's team at the centre in Ketapang did everything they could to save Anyin’s life and are devastated by her death.

Dr Karmele Llano Sanchez, IAR's veterinary director in Indonesia, said: "It is very upsetting when we are unable to save the life of an orangutan, particularly such a young animal. But we shouldn’t be surprised: the mortality rate among captive baby orangutans is high because of all the infectious diseases they can get from humans.  Babies that are taken from their mothers when they are still small and depend on their mother's milk will have very weak immune systems which make them more prone to infection."

After being kept illegally as a pet for more than eighteen months, Anyin’s owner only elected to hand her over to officers from the local Forestry Division because she was very sick and he knew she could die. 

Karmele concludes: "Anyin's story is a tragic example of the fate of countless captive orangutans in Borneo. Once their home in the forest is destroyed, they are defenceless against poachers who kill the adults and capture their babies to sell on as pets. Catching, keeping or killing an orangutan is illegal in Borneo, but most people who are guilty of these acts still go unpunished. This situation won’t change until the law is enforced and the wildlife traffickers are called to account for their crimes."