Chained orangutan held captive in Borneo enjoys new freedom after rescue

20 November 2017, 15:34

An orangutan saved from captivity by a UK charity has taken a step closer to freedom after being released into a forest enclosure.

The seven-year-old ape named Amy was found chained up in a small wooden crate in a West Borneo village, where she was kept as a pet.

She was unable to straighten her legs and her spine was bent, International Animal Rescue (IAR) said.

Amy's owner claimed she had been there a month but the condition of her limbs and wounds suggested she had been in captivity her whole life, according to the charity.

Animal experts helped Amy learn to walk again in April - a month after her rescue - and she was introduced to other apes for the first time in May.

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In the latest stage of her development, the orangutan has been guided into a forest enclosure at the Conservation Centre in Ketapang, West Borneo.

Alan Knight, IAR's chief executive, said: "After the terrible mistreatment and neglect Amy suffered while she was chained up in a small, dark crate, it is incredibly poignant to watch her walking so trustingly beside her keeper and following him carefully across the metal drawbridge to her new home."

Amy is one of 20 orangutans to have recently moved to the new island, called Pulau Besar, or Big Island, which is part of 64 acres of forest bought by IAR after a fundraising appeal.

Surrounded by water, orangutans and keepers use a drawbridge ladder to get into the enclosure.

Amy has been joined by three-year-old male orangutan Dio, who has a bullet lodged behind his left eye which has left him partially sighted.

He had been chained up by his owner in 2014 after being bought from hunters who shot his mother.