2 Orangutans Released Back Into the Wild After Being Chained and Caged

Desi and Susi were deemed suitable for release after 5 years of forest school, where they learned to socialize, forage, and travel through trees.

After years of rehabilitation, two orangutans once chained up as pets are now being released into the wild.

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Susi and Desi, orangutans living in Indonesia, were first rescued by the International Animal Rescue five years ago, when they were found chained and caged by their former owners, who wanted to keep them as pets.

According to the International Animal Rescue, Susi was in particularly poor condition: "She had several severe injuries, including a foul-smelling, infected wound from the heavy neck chain which had become embedded in her flesh."

"I remember there was no key for the lock she had around her neck," program director Karmele Llano Sanchez said in a video. "We had to break the chain."

After both orangutans were treated for various health issues, they were transported to the International Animal Rescue pre-release island. The pair progressed through forest school together, including socializing with other female orangutans, foraging for fruits, making their own nests and even traveling through the trees.

Soon enough, after close monitoring by vets, Susi and Desi were selected as suitable candidates for release.

Early one morning, local rescuers were filmed transporting the animals in a cage, and driving toward the reserve. 

Sanchez can be heard in the video saying that they've gone as far as they could by car, and will now rely on the strong local men in their team to transport the crates 8 kilometers by foot: "They are good. I'm sure it's going to be fast."

Men carry them by a beam on their shoulders, some even making light of the rough terrain by smoking a cigarette with their free hand.

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The orangutans can then be seen easing out of their cages into newfound freedom when they finally reach the Gunung Tarak National Park, a protected reserve in the Gunnung Palung National Park.

"Both Desi and Susi have been together at the center," Sanchez said in the video. "We hope that here in the forest, they will be together as well, and they will help each other."

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