By Ellie Duncombe
A terrified baby orangutan which was kept locked up in a tiny wooden crate by its cruel owner has been rescued.
The petrified animal, called Isin, was found trapped in a box, measuring just one metre wide, when she was discovered by rescuers in West Borneo.
Isin, who is thought to be three-years-old, was kept by a local man named Bahtiar, who nailed the crate shut to keep her inside.
He claimed to have found the orangutan on his farmland, not far from a palm oil plantation and is believed to have kept her for two weeks before contacting the authorities.
Officials from the local Forest Department (BKSDA) travelled to the village, accompanied by a team from International Animal Rescue (IAR) and there was great excitement when they released Isin from her wooden box.
Once some planks of wood had been levered off the crate, the medical team were able to entice her over to them with some food.
Alan Knight, chief executive at IAR, said: “Little Isin is yet another sad victim of the devastating deforestation being carried out by palm oil companies and other large scale agricultural industries in Borneo.
“She should still be with her mother, learning from her all the skills and behaviours she needs to survive in the forest.
“Instead she was found all alone, which makes it likely that her mother had been killed.
“A female orangutan would never abandon her baby or be parted from it without a fight.
“Baby orangutans like Isin are likely to have seen their mothers being killed – which is why so many of them are deeply traumatised when we rescue them.
“Isin will join more than 100 other orangutans in our rescue centre in Ketapang, West Borneo and, once through quarantine, will begin her journey through rehabilitation in preparation for her eventual return to the rainforest.”
Karmele Llano Sanchez, Programme Director of IAR Indonesia, added: “Having such a large number of orangutans undergoing rehabilitation, with more having to be rescued all the time, makes it increasingly difficult to find safe places where we can release them.
“It is absolutely vital that the root cause of the problem is addressed – the relentless destruction of the rainforest – if we are ever to halt the decline of orangutan populations in the wild.”