One year after his rescue, baby orangutan Puyol's prospects look brighter with soccer star's support for campaign
While Spanish soccer star Carles Puyol kicks off a new awareness campaign to help the orangutan, the future is looking bright for his namesake, Puyol the orphaned orangutan rescued by IAR exactly a year ago.
The baby orangutan was rescued last December by IAR’s team in Western Borneo and is now living happily and safely in International Animal Rescue’s emergency centre in Ketapang, Western Borneo.
With work underway to build a new rehabilitation centre for rescued orangutans of all ages, the prospects for Puyol and his friends are looking better and better. Facilities at IAR’s new centre will enable the orangutans to develop all the strength and the skills they need if they are one day to survive back in the wild.
The team rescued baby Puyol last December from Kelampai village where he had been kept as a pet for the previous two months. His mother had been killed with a machete and her body hacked up and eaten. Little Puyol had wounds on his abdomen and right arm which were almost certainly inflicted during the attack. Puyol was being kept outside his owner's house, tied up by a rope around his neck and fed only on sugar cane and water.
An IAR team member visited the owner and negotiated the release of Puyol into IAR’s care. Then, the following day, in the presence of forestry officials, the owner reluctantly handed the baby over. It is illegal to keep orangutans captive in Indonesia but the rescue team still had to resort to threatening the owner with the police in order to get him to surrender the orangutan.
As soon as baby Puyol arrived at the centre the vets began treating him for infection and malnutrition. He was starving hungry and devoured food and formula milk eagerly, so there was no problem getting him to take his medicine. It wasn’t too long before Puyol was strong enough to join the other rescued infants in the ‘baby school’ area and start climbing and playing with the rest of them.
International Animal Rescue is hoping that footballer Puyol’s support for the orangutan project will raise awareness of the orangutans’ plight and bring in desperately-needed funds to complete and equip the new centre so that many more orangutans like little Puyol can be helped.