By Bunmi Adigun @Bunmi_Adigun

AN ORPHANED orangutan who was illegally taken from her mother in the wild has found a new home at a pre-school set up for rescued orangutans

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Videographer / director: International Animal Rescue
Producer: Mark Hodge, Nick Johnson
Editor: Joshua Douglas

When Joss first arrived at the centre she had her arms wrapped so tightly around her small body that at first sight she seemed deformed

Named Joss by keepers, the tiny female was psychologically traumatised when she arrived at the rescue centre in Ketapang in the West Kalimantan province of Borneo, Indonesia.

The baby ape, who is just a few months old, was rescued by International Animal Rescue (IAR) in January this year from a local who had paid £25 for Joss - despite it being illegal in Indonesia to own orangutans as pets.

IAR veterinarian Jaclyn Eng said: "Joss hugs herself constantly because she misses the physical contact and comfort she should still be getting from her mother"

The troubled youngster exhibited self-harming behaviours including gripping her arms tightly around her back to mimic cuddles and even banging her head against the floor.

IAR veterinarian Jaclyn Eng said: "Joss hugs herself constantly because she misses the physical contact and comfort she should still be getting from her mother.

Handlers at the International Animal Rescue's orangutan pre-school push a wheelbarrows full of baby orangutans

"Her life up until now must have been very traumatic and stressful for her to behave in this abnormal way.”

But despite experiencing extreme hardship, baby Joss is now on the road to recovery and is making friends at the pre-school.

Joss dangles under the watchful eye of a handler at the pre-school

With all the orangutans roughly the same age, it is the perfect environment for babies such as Joss to learn the essential development skills to allow her to thrive in the wild once released.

From wheelbarrow rides to their very own babysitters, every need for these cheeky apes is catered to.

When Joss is old enough he will eventually be released back into protected areas of the forest
A carer at the rescue centre pushes a wheelbarrow filled with adorable orangutans

The orangutans spend their days playing with one another climbing trees, and when they are old enough they are eventually released back into protected areas of the forest where they will live out the rest of their lives.

Alan Knight, chief executive of International Animal Rescue, said: “The young babies that we’ve rescued recently are the lucky ones that now stand a chance of undergoing rehabilitation and returning to the wild one day.”

The little orphaned orangutan munches on some delicious corn

Currently the natural habitat of orangutans is being encroached upon as forest fires is causing mass deforestation.

Karmele Llano Sanchez, programme director of IAR Indonesia, said: "With the rising number of orangutans our team has rescued from burnt forest during recent months, Joss is now the 99th orangutan we have taken in to our rehabilitation centre."

As forest fires increase IAR expect there will be an influx of baby orangutans to the centre

Like Joss, many of the orangutans being rescued by IAR are suffering from severe psychological trauma.

“As is the case for the other orangutans at the centre, efforts to rehabilitate Joss and prepare her for eventual return to the wild will take many years,” Sanchez added.

When Joss is old enough she will eventually be released back into protected areas of the forest

"This lengthy period of time is not only necessary for them to learn the skills to survive, but also to recover from the psychological trauma of being captured and kept in captivity."

IAR expect that there will be an influx of baby orangutans to their centre in the next few months as forest fires increase.

To find out more about International Animal Rescue and the work they’re doing please visit their website http://www.internationalanimalrescue.org/about-us.