Hunters Shot This Baby Orangutan, Then Left Him For Dead

Luckily, little Didik was rescued just in time and is now on the slow road to recovery.

27/06/2016 9:35 PM AEST | Updated 01/07/2016 7:19 AM AEST

A baby orangutan is lucky to be alive after being abandoned in a store in West Borneo last week.

When discovered, Didik had a bullet lodged in his shoulder, was suffering from eye and fungal skin infections and was so hungry that he couldn't properly open his mouth to receive food.

It's believed Didik was wounded when hunters shot his mother dead so they could capture and sell him as a pet. After realizing he was injured, the attackers reportedly decided to dump him. According to the International Animal Rescue (IAR), keeping orangutans as pets is illegal and the hunters likely didn't want to risk getting him treated. 

It's not known exactly how long Didik was left unattended, frightened and starving, inside the store. But he was eventually brought to the attention of local Forestry Department officials, who called on IAR for help.

The charity's staff rushed Didik to their rescue center, where vets discovered he was so malnourished that his growth had actually been stunted.

"His body is very small but after examining his teeth we estimate him to be about 18 months old," Dr. Karmele Llano Sanchez, program director for the charity's Indonesian branch, said in a statement. 

Dr. Sanchez said it may take an extended period of time for Didik to recover from the traumatic incident.

"For an animal like an orangutan, witnessing the death of its mother is a profoundly shocking experience. That is undoubtedly why Didik looks so sad and depressed," Dr. Sanchez said. "It will take a long time for him to recover from the nightmare he has been through and start to take an interest in his surroundings."

On Friday, following several days of treatment, the IAR posted a series of photographs of a slightly healthier and happier Didik to Facebook -- alongside an appeal for donations to pay for his medication:

Staff said he was being fed baby porridge with banana and essential vitamins from a syringe because he is still struggling to open his mouth.

"The vets have informed us that Didik is starting to show positive signs of recovery and that he started to put on a little bit of weight," the charity wrote.

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