Orangutan Who Was Chained in a Box Takes Her Next Steps to Freedom

Earlier this spring rescuers were alerted about a heartbreaking case of Amy, an orangutan who had been languishing inside a small crate. Fortunately, they were able to intervene and now they’re celebrating the remarkable progress she’s made since being rescued.

Amy had been kept inside a crate that had been covered in sheets of metal, leaving her with nothing but the sounds of the outside world, and nothing on the inside for comfort other than a rag she was found clutching. Not only was she trapped in there, she was chained so tightly by the neck that it caused a deep wound.

_MG_8518_previewCredit: International Animal Rescue

Fortunately, International Animal Rescue (IAR) was alerted about her plight and they quickly put a team together to save her. The conditions she was left to suffer in took a toll on her both physically and mentally, but she was taken to IAR’s orangutan rescue center where caretakers provided her with everything she needed to start recovering.

_MG_8512_previewCredit: International Animal Rescue

She began showing signs of improvement, and over the summer she was introduced to others of her kind. Now, her rescuers are celebrating another big move to a new forested enclosure, where she will continue building the skills she will need to survive in the wild, along with a group of 19 other orangutans.

Moving OU from P Setrum to P Besar20171106_72_previewCredit: International Animal Rescue

The new island she was taken to, Pulau Besar, or ‘Big Island’, was created on 64 acres of land that was recently purchased by IAR after its recent Forest Fund campaign.

According to IAR, the island is only accesible via a drawbridge ladder, which goes up when it’s not in use to keep the orangutans from leaving. Although orangutans are reluctant to cross it, Amy went slowly across while holding her keeper’s hand, and was immediately greeted on the other side with a hug from one of her fellow orangutans.

“After the terrible mistreatment and neglect Amy suffered while she was chained up in a small, dark crate, it is incredibly poignant to watch her walking so trustingly beside her keeper and following him carefully across the metal drawbridge to her new home,” said Alan Knight OBE, IAR Chief Executive.

“Thanks to the generosity of the public, we were recently able to purchase an area of forest adjacent to our centre and create Pulau Besar. This large island provides the perfect training ground for Amy and her friends and we are all thrilled to see them exploring and enjoying their new home,” added Knight.

Moving OU from P Setrum to P Besar20171106_04 (1)_previewCredit: International Animal Rescue

Hopefully Amy and her friends will continue to thrive in their new habitat and will one day return to their home in the wild. Sadly for Bornean orangutans, who are now Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, they continue to face a host of threats to their survival ranging from losing their forest homes to fires and development to conflicts with us and being taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Another orangutan who was among those moved to the new enclosure is Dio, a male who was rescued in 2014. Dio’s mother was killed by hunters, and later Dio was taken as a pet. He was found with a bullet lodged behind his eye, but he hasn’t let his injury slow him down at all. IAR suspects the bullet was from the same weapon that killed his mother.

dioCredit: International Animal Rescue

“With more than 100 rescued orangutans in rehabilitation at our centre, we need all the space we can get. The new island is making a huge difference to Amy, Dio and the rest of the group. And in a broader context, it serves as a reminder to us all of the vital need to protect as much precious forest as possible if the orangutan is to stand any chance of survival,” said Knight.

For more on how to help orangutans like Amy and Dio, check out International Animal Rescue.

Photo credit: International Animal Rescue


Marie W
Marie W10 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Pat P
Pat Pabout a year ago

Such suffering of wonderful animals--because of human stupidity, selfishness and greed.

Even if rescued, rehabilitated and able to learn how to survive--where will they live, safely?

Thanks for the good kind humans assisting in saving our precious wildlife! Why aren't there more? Where is all the billionaire money that could really help? Are any of them honest and empathetic--or just corrupt and greedy?

I think of compassionate animal rescuers as very special people--as a type of hero!

Maria R
Past Member about a year ago

thank you

Carl R
Carl Rabout a year ago


One Heart inc
One Heart incabout a year ago


Carl R
Carl Rabout a year ago


Peggy B
Peggy Babout a year ago


Cathy B
Cathy Babout a year ago

Tears of joy! Thank you to all involved.

Ellie M
Ellie Mabout a year ago


Deborah W
Deborah Wabout a year ago

Signs of improvement, with her introduction to others of her kind, her rescuers are now celebrating another big move -- to a new forested enclosure where she will continue building the skills needed to survive in the wild. Island is only accesible via a drawbridge ladder, drawn up when not in use (so that orangutans don't leave). Although orangutans are reluctant to cross it, Amy did slowly cross while holding the hand of her keeper, and was immediately greeted on the other side with a hug from one of her fellow orangutans. All good, ONE QUESTION: does "reluctant" apply to all involved or has there occasionally been one more curious and adventurous, making the crossing. ANOTHER QUESTION: How old and at what age captive? If taken in early formative years, without mom training as to what's good and/or dangerous that shares the same habitat, I fear the protective enclosure doesn't offer all that's necessary for survival when space is shared with other species vying for the same resources.