A video showing two baby orangutans meeting for the first time ever is taking the internet by storm, reports USA Today. In the video released by the International Animal Rescue, the young orangutan Gito is seen being introduced to his new friend Asoka for the first time. Both the baby orangutans are probably seeing another orangutan for the first time — which makes the video even more fascinating to watch. In the video you can see how Gito is fascinated by his new companion. He is slightly wary initially but soon warms up to the new orangutan. Soon, Gito is seen staring at Asoka and reaching out to his new friend. Gito also attempts to lick and chew on his new friend as much as possible!
The resident orangutan Gito was himself rescued earlier. Both the primates are kept by the International Animal Rescue in Ketapang, West Borneo. Both Gito and Asoka were snatched away from their respective mothers right after their birth and were to be sold as pets. It is also highly likely that the mothers of both the orangutans were killed by poachers. Both of them were luckily rescued and found themselves in the shelter of International Animal Rescue.
Gito was in the news a few months ago after a video showing him in poor health went viral on the Internet. Gito was found by his rescuers in a pitiable state — covered in a box soaked with urine. The young orangutan was in a “near death” state. A blog post by the organization that describes the state in which Gito was found is painful to read. We have also embedded a video showing the condition in which Gito was initially found.
Here is an excerpt:
“When our rescue team reached baby Gito, at first they feared he was already dead. Even our most hardened rescuers were shocked by the state he was in, it was one of the worst cases of neglect they had ever seen. 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.”
Months of treatment, care, and lots of attention later, Gito is fast growing up to be an awesome Orangutan.
In an email statement, Lis Key, a spokeswoman for the group, says,
“As the forests in Borneo are cut or burnt down to make way for palm oil plantations, orangutans are increasingly under threat of starving to death, being captured or coming into conflict with people and being killed,”
Key said they believe Gito and Asoka likely saw their mothers die before they were captured.
Apart from Gito and Asoka, the rehabilitation center in Borneo has nearly 100 other Orangutans.
“They are both getting stronger and more confident by the day, under the watchful eye of the team at our center,” Alan Knight OBE, CEO of International Animal Rescue said in a statement.
According to International Animal Rescue officials, while it would take years for Gito, Asoka, and other young orangutans in the rehabilitation center to grow up, they would eventually be released in the wild.
Orangutans, along with chimpanzees and bonobos, are among the most intelligent of the great apes. Due to a sharp decline in their numbers, the orangutan is classified as an endangered species. Orangutans with their near-human like antics are a popular attraction in zoos across southeast Asia, which has unfortunately led to illegal pet trade as well. These intelligent animals are also threatened by poaching and habitat destruction.
[Image Via YouTube Screenshot]