A wildlife group came to the rescue of a young orangutan who spent two years caged inside a small wooden box in Indonesia.
Kept shut inside the confines of a box measuring about 10 square feet, the four-year-old male orangutan named Kotap, was found to be in a very poor condition by the International Animal Rescue (IAR) and officials from the West Kalimantan forestry department.
The animal was reportedly being kept as a pet by a man identified only as Barco in a village when the rescuers got to find it, reports Mashable. Kotap had nothing but a straw and a plastic bottle with him when they arrived.
According to a Facebook post by IAR, Barco claimed to have received the orangutan as a gift from a man in his village. He reportedly built the wooden cage for Kotap in front of his house to prevent him from causing a disturbance in the neighborhood.
Fed with a human diet of bread and rice, Kotap was also sometimes forced to eat unhealthy food like uncooked instant noodles and sugary drinks.
It took the officials several visits before they were able to convince Barco to surrender Kotap. After gaining permission, the rescuers encountered a bit of a challenge in securing Kotap.
“Kotap was very stressed by all the strangers who gathered to see him when he was taken out of the box,” said a vet with the IAR named Uwi.
“He became nervous and aggressive which is not surprising. So during the long journey back to the center, we kept people away from him so that he remained as quiet and calm as possible.”
The rescued primate was taken to IAR’s rescue center for treatment and rehabilitation, joining other rescued orangutans.
“Kotap lived a sad and solitary existence, unable to exercise or behave in any way like a wild orangutan,” IAR Chief Executive Alan Knight was quoted as saying.
“Thankfully now he will join other rescued orangutans at our center and be given a chance of returning to the forest where he belongs.”