Some of the things that humans do to animals can be pretty awful. But thankfully, there are good people out there who work to fix the wrongs that others do. When Novi the Orangutan was discovered, he needed a hero.
Young Novi was discovered tethered beneath a house in Borneo, Indonesia. He was attached by a short metal chain and was extremely skinny and malnourished. His only companion was a dog who was chained up beside him.
Nobody knows exactly how Novi the Orangutan found himself there in the first place. But the rescuer’s best guess is that his mother was likely killed for destroying their crops or simply out of fear. Novi will have then been captured and kept as a pet.
Novi was likely kept inside his captor’s house but once he got bigger he was chained up outside.
A spokesperson for the Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP) said, “The chain tortured him day and night for five years; it left a scar when we cut [it] off.”
When Novi was rescued by the COP in 2015, his life was about to change for the better. He was taken into their care and they worked to make him healthy and strong again. They also taught him how to live in the wild again at COP’s forest school.
The caretakers taught Novi the Orangutan how to build a nest high up in the trees and how to forage for food. He learned so quickly that he earned a reputation for being the ‘big boss’ at the forest school.
Three years after his rescue, Novi was finally released into the wild in November 2018.
In the video posted by COP, Novi runs straight out of his transport cage and climbs up into a tree. He was clearly ready for his new life as a free Orangutan.
The happiness we felt, when he stopped and looked at us … maybe [it was to say] thank you
Sadly, Novi the Orangutan’s story isn’t a one-off. People often steal baby Orangutans and keep them as pets. Not many are able to be rescued and rehabilitated like Novi. When you add on top the dangers of palm oil farming that threatens their habitat, Orangutans are very vulnerable. Thankfully there are wonderful people like at the COP who are working to save as many Orangutans as possible.