Starving Orangutan and Her Baby Saved by Rescue Team, Returned to Wild

A village in Indonesia contacted the International Animal Rescue when they found two starving orangutans chewing through their crops.

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The rescue team drove out to the village and were met by the malnourished orangutans with resistance. According to the International Animal Rescue, Mama Nam, as they named the mother orangutan, was reluctant to release the branch, and her baby was still clinging onto her.

"It’s amazing that, despite the fact that she was so skinny and weak, this mother was still determined to protect her baby," a veterinarian for the International Animal Rescue said. "The poor thing couldn’t know that we were there to help not harm her.”

According to the website, the mother orangutan was so malnourished that she was no longer producing milk for her child.

But only two short months later, the animals were deemed fit for release.

In a video recounting the orangutan's release, the rescue team can be seen placing Mama Nam into the transport cage filled with leaves, and placing Baby Nam beside her.

A woman in the video said they had sedated Mama Nam before the team set off for transport at five a.m.

Four men carried the heavy cage as they walked for more than an hour into the woods, stepping over marshes and uneven ground.

Once the cage was opened, Mama Nam dashed out with her baby. She bumped into the camera as she ran back into the wild.

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The director of International Animal Rescue in Indonesia said that because the Gunung Palung National Park was hit by a tragic fire, many animals had to flee: "Mama Nam was just one of the victims of these fires to be forced to leave the park in search of food and shelter."

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