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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

We have released heart-warming photos and video of an orphaned baby orangutan with her new surrogate mother

Baby Anggun had been caught from the wild and was being kept as a pet until she was confiscated by police and taken to our Orangutan Conservation Centre in Ketapang, West Borneo.

The centre is caring for more than 100 rescued orangutans undergoing rehabilitation in order one day to return to their home in the forest.

After losing her mother, little Anggun was in need of a mother figure to guide her through the early stages of her life. Our staff at the centre chose Monti, a very intelligent orangutan who has spent nearly nine years at the centre in preparation for her release back into the wild.

Monti has the potential to teach little Anggun all the skills she will need to survive in the wild – skills she would have learnt from the mother she lost. In the wild, infant orangutans stay with their mothers until they are between six and eight years old so it is hoped that the relationship between Monti and Anggun will be a long and close one and that together they can embark on a new life back in a protected forest far from human habitation.

The care-takers at our centre first placed the pair alongside each other and then moved them into a cage together to see how Monti reacted to the new arrival. The team was delighted to see Monti take the tiny baby into her arms and provide the comfort and care this baby needed.

Monti is already teaching Anggun skills such as how to open a coconut and other types of food enrichment. Her care-takers report that she always lets the baby eat and drink first and finds ways to calm the little one when she cries. At night, Anggun crawls onto Monti’s soft, warm tummy to sleep.

Alan Knight, our CEO, says: “After suffering the sad loss of their own mothers, both Monti and Anggun seem to be deriving great comfort from each other which gives us real hope for their future back in the wild together.”