By Ellie Duncombe
An ape who was chained up in a cage for over a month has finally been freed.
The orangutan had ‘given up on life’ but has now been released from her tiny crate after being chained up with nothing but a small cloth for a comfort blanket.
The ape, called Amy, was so cramped in the boarded up crate that her limbs and backbone had bent and she had deep welts in her neck from the tight chain.
Amy, believed to be seven years old, was slumped against the wall, clinging on to a small piece of cotton when she was found by vet Sulhi Aufa.
She is now in a rehabilitation centre in Ketapang, West Borneo.
Her owner told a team from International Animal Rescue that Amy had been in the cage for a month and had been allowed to roam around the house before, but rescuers think she was trapped for much longer.
The ape refused to look at Sulhi when she was found in the crate, but when the vet touched her, Amy held her hand.
Karmele L Sanchez, Programme Director of IAR Indonesia, said: “This is a serious animal welfare problem.
“Many orangutans in this area are treated worse than dogs, chained all their lives and living in deplorable conditions.
“You can see the sadness in Amy’s eyes.
“If we hadn’t rescued her, she would have suffered all her life, chained up until the day she died.”
Sanchez added: “It’s high time people realised that, if they keep breaking the law by capturing orangutans and keeping or selling them as pets, then the species will soon become extinct.
“Anyone who is offered an orangutan as a pet should certainly not buy it.
“They should immediately contact the authorities and report the person trying to sell it.
“And if people are not willing to cooperate by surrendering the orangutan and persist in breaking the law, then the necessary action must be taken to enforce it.”
During the first four days at the rescue centre, Amy only ate two bananas and drank some milk.
It is likely that Amy spent her formative years in captivity, without a mother to teach her the skills to survive in the forest.
A gun pellet was found lodged in her armpit, suggesting that Amy was wounded when her mother was shot dead trying to protect her infant.