A wildlife charity has released heart-warming video of a baby orangutan traumatised by years in captivity climbing a tree – for the first time.
Joss, who lives in Borneo, was left profoundly traumatised after being kept for two years as a pet, but she is already on the road to recovery.
Videos and photos released by charity International Animal Rescue show the primate climbing and feeding in a tree – for the first time in her life.
Thankfully, the plucky ape showed no signs of the abnormal behaviour she displayed before she was rescued.
Although Joss remains in quarantine at the International Animal Rescue Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, she has been taken out for short periods to learn to climb.
The youngster shows a real aptitude for it – but she is so shy that she will only climb if no one is watching.
Despite her shyness, and her nerves at meeting someone new, the orangutan has developed a hearty appetite – which is helping her grow healthy and strong.
IAR CEO Alan Knight said: “Joss still reverts to her abnormal stereotypical behaviour at times of stress but it is much less than when she arrived at our centre.
“In only six or seven weeks she has learnt to trust the vets and build up enough confidence to venture into the outside world and climb a tree for the first time.
“It is so uplifting to see the improvement and she is responding extremely well to the care she’s receiving.
“I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s ready for the next stage in her rehabilitation – socialisation with another baby orangutan.”
Once Joss’ period in quarantine is completed she will be introduced to other babies at the centre and during the day she will be taken out to pre-school.
After pre-school and baby school, Joss will spend several years in forest school before she will be assessed for her suitability to be reintroduced into the wild.
Alan said: “The ultimate aim of our project is to return these beautiful primates to their rightful place in the wild, in a protected area where they will be free from harm.
“The forest fires in Indonesia last year resulted in an increase in the number of baby orangutans ending up in captivity.
“Our team at our centre in Ketapang is preparing to cope with more fires and more casualties in the year ahead.”