Like peas in a pod

By Kate Hassett

Like peas in a pod
Is this the world's cutest preschool?

These babies, rescued from being pets in captivity, are learning the ropes.

As anyone who has ever been around small children will know, getting them to walk any sort of distance, when a pram is involved, is nearly impossible and the same can be said for these orangutan toddlers.

The babies have been rescued from captivity by the International Animal Rescue (IAR) rehabilitation centre in Ketapang, West Kalimantan in the Indonesian part of Borneo.

The youngsters – many of whom grew up in captivity as pets before being rescued – start everyday by waking up, piling into a wheelbarrow and heading to a special school.

Their school days consist of climbing, foraging, eating, playing, socialising and nest building; preparing them for when they will eventually be released back into the wild.

The wheelbarrows became a necessity for the handlers after they found it increasingly difficult to herd a flurry of toddlers back and forth from their sleeping quarters to their school yard.

“Inevitably this does involve the occasional thrills and spills. Some individuals sit quietly and enjoy the ride, others opt to bail out early, particularly on the return journey if they’re not too keen on going home to bed,” said Lis Key, a spokesperson for IAR.

Ms Key added: “These orangutans are brought into the centre for veterinary treatment and rehabilitation. it can take years for these animals to develop the skills and the strength they need to survive in the forest. In the meantime, they progress from baby school… to forest school… even sleeping out in the forest overnight if they so choose.”


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