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UK Charity Saves Life Of Baby Orangutan Left To Die In Cardboard Box

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A Sussex-based charitable group rescued and nursed a baby orangutan back to help after finding the animal abandoned in a cardboard box in West Borneo.

Members of the International Animal Rescue initially considered the orangutan, which was given the name Gito, to be dead when they discovered him resting inside a box with his arms folded across his frail body.

The baby orangutan suffered from a condition known as sarcoptic mange, a highly infectious skin disease that left the animal with gray flaking skin and a lack of hair.

The group took baby Gito to a rehabilitation center for orangutans in Ketapang, West Borneo to provide him with much-needed medical attention.

Rescuers of the baby orangutan believe the animal, which was between three to four months old, was being kept by one of the locals as a pet in Hamlet Giet village located in the district of Simpang Hulu.

They deduced that Gito's owners must have bought him for around £20 ($30) from a man who likely have killed his mother and taken the baby ape with the intention of selling him as a pet.

The orangutan was placed in a cardboard box soaked with his own urine and fed primarily on condensed milk. This caused the animal to suffer from severe dehydration and become malnourished.

After finding the sick orangutan, the rescuers traveled for nine hours on a motorbike in order to transfer baby Gito from the distant West Bornean village to the rehabilitation center where a medical team was awaiting his arrival.

The animal experts discovered that Gito was also suffering from diarrhea.

They placed Gito on a drip to rehydrate body and conducted a medical check-up on the baby orangutan, which included massaging the animal's skin with coconut oil to soothe his skin and relive his itching.

"It's hard to stomach the shocking state Gito was in when we rescued him," International Animal Rescue's chief executive Alan Knight said.

"Our team has seen a significant increase in the number of baby orangutans being kept as pets and some of them have only recently been taken from the wild."

Knight added that wild orangutans are being left without shelter or food because of forest fires devastating much of Indonesia's wilderness.

He said that those that are able to escape the fires become vulnerable to starvation. Some apes are also targeted for capture by humans.

Knight said that baby Gito is now receiving expert care and treatment at the rehabilitation center, but he pointed out that many more like him are in desperate need of people's help.

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