Written by Editorial Team, DonateToday
Published: Wednesday, 28th February 2018

International Animal Rescue found baby Gito dehydrated and on the point of death, but with their help he has returned to health

Gito the baby orangutan had been kept as a pet until his owners no longer wanted him. International Animal Rescue came to the young animal’s aid.


Dumped in a cardboard box and left in the sun today, little Gito was so lifeless when the rescue team reached him that they originally thought he was dead. He was just four months old at the time.

The baby orangutan was rushed to International Animal Rescue’s orangutan rescue centre in Ketapang, West Borneo where he was immediately put on a drip in an attempt to rehydrate him. 

Medical checks indicated he was suffering from sarcoptic mange – a highly contagious skin disease which causes intense itching and irritation – as well as the dehydration.

Alan Knight OBE, the charity’s Chief Executive explained the probable situation behind Gito’s ordeal. ‘It is a traffic fact that Gito and all the other infant orangutans in our care were almost certainly orphaned when their mothers were killed, and their babies were caught and kept as pets.’

When Gito was found, he was so dehydrated the rescue team thought he was dead

Happy and Healthy

More than two years later, Gito has improved beyond recognition.

International Animal Rescue has looked after him with such care that he is unrecognisable from the poor creature they once knew. A happy, healthy young orangutan, Gito regularly puts away two bottles of milk, a bowl of vegetables, porridge and fruit in one sitting, and is a regular at the charity’s baby school for young monkeys. 

He recently passed his annual health check with flying colours and loves to explore the local forests. ‘Usually he takes his friends with him,’ says Heribertus Nugraha from International Animal Rescue Indonesia, ‘But he’s also happy to play on his own.

‘He’s still young but he is learning fast. Currently on his list is to learn. How to forage for food and then after that will be how to make a nest for the night.’

With help from the International Animal Rescue, Gito is happy and healthy

Return to the Wild

Because he’s still so young, however, Gito is not ready to return to the wild just yet.

Usually, young orangutans stay with their mothers for up to seven years, while they learn the skills necessary to survive on their own. At just two, Gito has some way to go before he is ready to make it alone, especially as he does not have a mother to help him along. 

Unfortunately, this young orangutan’s is not an isolated case. The International Animal Rescue centre in Indonesia is home to more than 100 orphaned orangutans just like him; all of whom have to be nursed to health, kept safe and happy, and trained to eventually survive on their own in the wild.