The Heartwarming Moment a Momma Orangutan Realized Her and Her Baby Would Be Saved

The forests of central Kalimantan, Indonesia are home to two main populations of orangutan, but that may not be the case for very much longer if no action is taken.


These rainforests many thought were protected are now in danger of being lost forever, as thousands of fires over the past few months have ravaged the landscape. These fires have been caused by a mass deforestation to up palm oil production and have created a haze of toxic chemicals damaging people and wildlife alike.

Experts have cited the devastation as being “the worst man-made ecological disaster of the century,” prompting wildlife activists across the globe to take action. In a desperate attempt to save the lives of the remaining orangutan wildlife rescue teams have been working around the clock, but the heart wrenching scenes they’ve come across haven’t been easy to deal with. The image below is from an International Animal Rescue team who came across a wild orangutan in a village, chased from her home by the fire, carrying her baby.

Photo credit: International Animal Rescue / Facebook

When the villagers first noticed this momma come around they grew frightened and threw objects at her in order to chase her off, and luckily the rescue team arrived before any further damage was done. According to the group’s Facebook message about the incident:

“This photograph shows our rescue team desperately trying to save the life of a mother orangutan and her tiny baby. They were forced out of their forest home as a result of the fires and ended up in a village. The villagers were frightened and threw things at the terrified mother before attempting to capture and tie her up.

Fortunately our team got to her just in time. They quickly anaesthetised the mother with her frightened baby clinging on tightly. They have now been translocated and released into a safe area of protected rainforest and are being monitored by a conservation team to ensure that they are recovering well from their terrible ordeal.”

While this wasn’t the first heartbreaking scene the team came across, they’re disheartened knowing it’s not the last. The fires continue to destroy the landscape and more animals are losing their homes for this corporate greed.

Unfortunately the team is running into more struggles than just what they come across in the field. Short on both manpower and resources, they’re asking for donations to ensure they can hire the veterinarians they need as well as stock up on all the mandatory equipment for the task at hand. It’s not been easy, and it’s not looking like it will be that way anytime soon.

This incredible footage was captured as the team braves the haze and fire to rescue one of the fourteen total orangutan they’ve come across.


The damage has gotten so great that IAR Program Director Karmele Llano Sanchez is worried the iconic orange animals will soon be closer than ever to extinction. As of yet no one knows how many orangutan have been lost, but the estimates aren’t looking well.

“I fear that in terms of the orangutans, the worst is yet to come. And if serious action isn’t taken soon to stop the fires, it will simply be too late,” she said.

If you would like to help support IAR’s wildlife rescue efforts please visit their website here.

It’s incredible that so many people have gathered together to help fight back against these corruption-caused fires, but there’s so much more which needs to be done.

Share this important news with your friends and help support these rescuers.

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