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16/10/2015 22:44 BST | Updated 16/10/2015 22:59 BST

'Mummified' Baby Orangutan In Borneo Nursed Back To Health By International Animal Rescue

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A baby orangutan found in a urine-soaked box was in such bad condition that he looked "mummified" when rescuers came to his aid.

Gito, who is between three and four months old, was dumped in a filthy cardboard box and left in the sun to die.

The infant was thought to be dead when the team from International Animal Rescue (IAR) in Borneo found him.

He was discovered lying with his arms folded across his chest. His position, accompanied by a lack of hair and grey, flaking skin, caused him to look "almost mummified in his cardboard coffin", said IAR.

orangutan

Gito was left in the sun to die

Gito was being kept as a pet by the head of the village of Hamlet Giet, Merawa Village, in Simpang Hulu District, about 170km from IAR’s orangutan rehabilitation centre in West Borneo.

It is believed he was bought for less than £20 from a man who had almost certainly killed his mother in order to steal and sell her baby.

Put on a diet solely of condensed milk, the young orangutan was severely dehydrated and malnourished. Gito had to be transported to IAR's clinic - a nine-hour drive from where he was found.

The little orphan was given a medical check up and it was discovered that he was dehydrated, feverish, with stiff hands and feet.

He was also suffering from diarrhea and sarcoptic mange, a highly contagious skin disease that causes intense itching and irritation. He is now in the care of IAR's experienced medical team.

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

“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.

“This is the result of the forest fires devastating Indonesia and leaving wild orangutans without food or shelter. Those that escape being burnt alive are left exposed and vulnerable, under threat of starving to death or being killed or captured by human beings.

“Gito is in safe hands now and receiving expert treatment and care at our centre in Ketapang. But tragically there are many more like him in desperate need of our help.”

Mr Knight said that forest fires had resulted in an increase in the number of baby orangutans being captured and are encouraging their supporter to contribute to the group's life-saving work.

Photo galleryOrangutan rescue by IAR See Gallery