Meet Gito. He’s a little orangutang who suffered a truly harrowing experience.
Fortunately, there were animal rescuers on hand to save his life. When the animal rights organisation International Animal Rescue found him in 2015, they weren’t sure whether he was alive or dead. According to The Dodo, his mother was shot by poachers, but little Gito survived. He was left alone in a tiny cardboard box under the unrelenting sun.
When the organisation found him, he had lost almost all the hair from his body. There were those who wondered if he had been mummified.
He had previously had an owner who bought him for $30. At that stage, he was only a few months old but looked far older.
“We thought he was dead, at first,” International Animal Rescue wrote on their website. “Gito’s arms were folded corpse-like across his tiny body and he looked almost mummified in his cardboard coffin. Gito had barely any hair on his body and his skin was grey and flaking from sarcoptic mange. The constant itching and pain must have been excruciating.”
Employees from the animal rights organisation, who found Gito in the cardboard box, drove the little orangutan fast as they could to the nearest veterinary clinic.
It was a miracle that he survived. It took the team nine hours to get him to the clinic, further proving what a strong fighter Gito is!
The vets soon realised that he needed a lot of help – this included treatment for the severe skin infection he’d picked up, and work to compensate for the general lack of care he’d received without his mother.
Now, though, he’s three-years-old, and, thanks to the incredible work of all the animal heroes involved, it’s impossible to recognise him from the ape that was left to die in a box.
What a fighter he is to have come out the other side!
Now his hair has regained its orange colour … even if it did take a while. And, thankfully, his skin is once again healthy.
It’s said that he loves fruit and other types of snacks. But, most important of all: He is now at a place where he can be loved. Before he can be released into the wild again, he needs to be prepared for that sort of life. That’s why he’s currently involved in the International Animal Rescue rehabilitation program. Gito spends his days, at the moment, hanging out in a wooded area with other orphaned orangutans who are on their way to adolescence. Hopefully, there he will learn how to live in the wild once more.
It’s important for orangutans in the wild to spend the first six to seven years of their lives with their mother. This not only helps them develop properly, but they also learn how to look for food and climb properly around the trees, amongst other things.
“Animals are suffering and dying because of the systematic destruction of the rainforest, primarily for palm oil production,” Lis Key, communications manager for Bito’s rescue center, told The Dodo.
She believes that within a few years, little Gito will be ready for the wild again. Until that time, he is safe to play with his peers under the careful watch of those who care for him.
There are few things that hit me in the feels as much as stories like this one. Defenseless animals, especially babies, are particularly vulnerable, so it’s vital that these organizations continue to work as they currently do. To all those helping animals out there, we salute you!
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