Tiny Orangutan Found With Bullet Lodged in Shoulder Attends First Day of School

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As another school year begins, this endangered orangutan is no different than most children, spending his day monkeying around with friends at animal school, just weeks after having a bullet removed from his shoulder.

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When Didik the Bornean orangutan was discovered in June abandoned at a shop in Indonesia, veterinarians said he was sick, starving, and had been shot. The bullet was still lodged in his shoulder.

Officials from International Animal Rescue suspected his mother was shot and killed, and the 18-month-old was injured to later be sold as a pet, according to a press release from the organization.

The group speculated the animal was dumped because the owner knew it was illegal to keep an orangutan as a pet, and was unsure how to seek medical attention for the suffering animal.

Veterinarians said in addition to removing the bullet, Didik needed to be treated for a fungal skin infection and an eye infection. Because he was separated from his mother so young, he also never learned to eat. He was so severely malnourished that his growth had been stunted.

But for months, rescuers fed him baby porridge with banana from a syringe, and treated his wounds.

Little Didik healed just in time to attend orangutan school with friends.

In footage posted on International Animal Rescue's Facebook page, a volunteer can be seen transporting a group of chimps in a wheelbarrow to a location where Didik appears climbing, swinging, and even making new baby orangutan friends.

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"Didik was a little nervous at first at the sight of so many inquisitive and unfamiliar faces," the organization wrote. "[But] it wasn’t long before Didik was up in the trees with his friends, climbing and swinging confidently in the branches."

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