School teaches baby orangutans survival skills

Baby orangutans in Indonesia are going to school to learn to find food and make a nest. After they learn these skills, the young apes can return to the wild and survive on their own. The school is run by International Animal Rescue (IAR). There are 102 orangutans living at the IAR centre. A spokesperson said: "We are committed to rescuing and rehabilitating as many orangutans as we can and giving them a second chance." Not all of them go to school because some are injured, so they cannot go back to the forest. It could take up to eight years to get the others ready to return to the wild.

The IAR cares for animals that have been rescued. Some of the babies lost their parents because of illegal hunting, habitat loss and forest fires. The IAR said they are suffering and dying because of the destruction of the rainforest by palm oil companies. Other baby orangutans have been sold as pets. There are also adult orangutans at the centre. These have spent most of their lives in captivity. The World Wildlife Fund estimates there are up to 69,000 orangutans in Borneo. They are in danger because their forests are being destroyed by illegal logging.