Baby orangutans in Indonesia are going to school to learn skills like finding food and making a nest. The school hopes the skills the young apes learn will mean they can be reintroduced into the wild and survive on their own. The school was set up by International Animal Rescue (IAR). There are currently 102 orangutans living at the centre. A spokesperson said: "We are committed to rescuing and rehabilitating as many orangutans as we can and giving them a second chance to live safely in their natural environment." Not all of them attend the school because some have suffered long-term injuries so they can never go back to the forest. It could take up to eight years to get others ready to return to the wild.
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The IAR centre cares for animals that have been rescued from the wild. Some of the baby orangutans lost their parents because of illegal poaching, habitat loss and forest fires. The IAR said they "are suffering and dying because of the systematic destruction of the rainforest, primarily for palm oil production". Other baby orangutans have been stolen from their mothers to be 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 around 45,000 to 69,000 orangutans in Borneo, but their numbers are decreasing because their forests are being destroyed by illegal logging and palm oil companies.