Volunteer Paloma introduces Huta, a rescued orangutan at International Animal Rescue's emergency centre in Ketapang, West Kalimantan.
Huta is a female of about 6 or 7 years old, She was rescued in March from a place very close to the IAR centre called the Hutan Kota (City Forest) from which she got her name. This place is an enclosed forest very close to Ketapang and is one of the top tourist attractions in the area. It is easy to access and has the appearance of a large forest. However, it is not a suitable place for a wild orangutan because the trees do not provide enough food. Also, a great many tourists visit it, many of whom gave Huta human food in an effort to get close to her, which was a serious disease risk for her.
Because of this International Animal Rescue felt they had no choice but to rescue Huta and take her to the centre in Ketapang. She had been sighted a few months before but disappeared before we could rescue her. We suspect that she was taken by a local and kept as a pet then later released back into the Hutan Kota after the "owner" realised how difficult and expensive she would be to keep at home. We assume too that she was kept with people before she was taken to the Hutan Kota, possibly since she was just a baby. She is very tame and, having lacked the company of her own kind, displays behaviours similar to those of humans whom she has copied.
Since arriving at the IAR facility in Ketapang Huta has put on weight and is clearly healthier. She is very clever, almost like Mona, and she knows to use tools like sticks to get food or to steal food from her neighbours Jojo and Jingo. She loves to play on her own with the sacks and the enrichments we provide. She also used to play with Helen, who was moved to the new bigger cages close to her, passing things through the cage and really having fun.
We hope that in the not too distant future Huta will be rehabilitated and one day have the opportunity to live a natural life in the wild again.