This heartbreaking baby orangutan misses her mother so much she hugs herself constantly as a source of physical comfort.
Baby orangutan Joss misses her mother so much she hugs herself constantly, pictured,
She was found in West Borneo by a team from International Animal Rescue who have since taken her to a rehabilitation centre, pictured, and are preparing her to eventually be returned to the wild
The little creature is seen repeatedly throwing herself onto the floor and banging her head against the wall, stopping only briefly when offered a bottle of milk by one of IAR’s vets.
She was owned by a man named Dahlan, who admitted buying the creature for around £25 because he felt sorry for her and did not realise it was illegal to keep the primates as pets.
Joss lived in his house with his wife and four children, regularly being ‘treated like a cuddly toy’ which caused severe psychological harm to her, according to IAR vets.
When Dahlan realised he could not legally keep her he gave her up to the IAR.
She had previously been kept illegally as a pet for two years by a family of six in West Borneo, pictured
IAR vets believe although the family were kind to her their cuddles and affection were traumatic
After examining and observing Joss, IAR veterinarian Jaclyn Eng said: ‘Joss hugs herself constantly because she misses the physical contact and comfort she should still be getting from her mother.
‘Her life up until now must have been very traumatic and stressful for her to behave in this abnormal way.
‘Animals usually develop stereotypical behaviour as a coping mechanism in response to a stressful situation.
‘Our team has never seen such a young baby orangutan exhibiting stereotypical behaviour like this.
‘It is extremely distressing to watch because it must reflect the mental and emotional trauma little Joss is suffering.’
She added: ‘At first we tried to comfort and hold her but she was obviously so stressed in her new surroundings that she did not want us to touch her and kept climbing off our knees and walking around on her elbows.
Joss hugs herself so much that the team of vets caring for her said she looked deformed to the naked eye
She was voluntarily handed over to the IAR by owner Dahlan, right, when he realised it was illegal to keep an orangutan as a pet
‘We also tried to settle her down with a giant cuddly teddy bear but that didn’t help either. She just kept banging her poor head against the wall.’
Joss is the 99th orangutan taken to the IAR Indonesia rehabilitation centre and it will take many years of treatment before she is able to be released back into the wild.
Alan Knight OBE, IAR chief executive, added: ‘The video of Joss is so distressing that at first I wasn’t sure we should make it public.
‘But this is the grim reality of what is happening to orangutans in Indonesia. As a result of the relentless destruction of the rainforest, compounded by the devastating fires which wiped out millions more acres during the latter half of 2015, these Great Apes need more help than ever if they are to survive.
‘It’s likely that little Joss saw her mother being brutally killed before she was snatched from the forest and sold as a pet.
‘You only have to look at her to see the nightmare she has been through during her short life.
‘The vets at our centre in Ketapang are working hard to help her but only time will tell whether she will make a full recovery from such a terrible start in life.’