This is the adorable moment a baby orangutan gave rescuers the thumbs up after being saved from captivity.
The infant primate had been kept illegally in a family’s home where it was being raised ‘like a human’ but was taken to safety by a team from International Animal Rescue.
They travelled to the rural village in Borneo and rescued the seven-month-old female – who looked ecstatic to be moving to a more suitable home.
Workers will now look to prepare her for eventual release back into her natural habitat.
Vet Adi Irawan, Operations Manager at International Animal Rescue’s orangutan centre in Borneo, said: “It takes a long time and it is not always easy to rehabilitate an orangutan and prepare it for release back into the wild.
“Baby orangutans require years to learn all the skills they will need to fend for themselves in the wild. It is also a very expensive process.
“We are currently caring for 108 orangutans in our rehabilitation centre and this places a huge responsibility on us in terms of care and cost.”
A villager called Bahiyah admitted to having the oranguntan for three months and had named her Vena.
She had been raising her as if she were a human child.
Karmele Llano Sanchez, Programme Director for International Animal Rescue in Indonesia, stated: “It’s high time people realised that, if they keep breaking the law by capturing orangutans and keeping or selling them as pets, then the species will soon become extinct.
“Anyone who is offered an orangutan should certainly not buy it. They should immediately contact the authorities and report the person trying to sell it.”
Although keeping an orangutan is illegal in Indonesia it is still quite common for people to keep them as pets.
Destruction of the forest to make way for palm oil plantations leaves orangutans without food and shelter.
They stray onto farmland and into nearby villages in search of food, exposing the adults to the danger of being killed as pests.
This leaves their babies to be captured and kept as pets.
During 2016 International Animal Rescue rescued 12 orangutans from captivity.
Already this year it has taken in three orangutans that were being kept as pets.
The mothers of these baby orangutans have almost certainly been killed in order for their infants to be captured.
In the wild a baby orangutan will stay with its mother until it is between six or eight years old.
Until then the infants are not equipped to live independently and rely on their mothers for food, care and protection.