There are only 15,000 wild orangutans left living in the forest. At the rate that they are being killed, captured, and with the destructive deforestation continuing, they will be extinct within the next 15 years.
 
The word orangutan means ‘people of the forest’. This story seeks to illustrate the
humanity of these ‘people’ and the daily struggle of those trying to save them.

I spent three months on the island of Borneo in Indonesia, I saw huge, overcrowded cages full of young, orphaned orangutans. Traumatized babies reached out to any human who would touch or hold them. I spent time with young Indonesian babysitters, who are hired to spend their days as orangutan mother-substitutes. I witnessed the patience and love in caring for sick orangutans.
 
With the help of two very special people in my story, some orangutans are being rehabilitated and released onto Orangutan island, which is separated from the mainland so as not to mix those who have been in touch with humans and the wild orangutans.
 
But this is not a success story. " All this looks like a wonderful thing," says Willie Smits, one of the two heros in my story. " The fact that we do have orangutan rehabilitation means that we have failed to do what is important to their ultimate survival, and that is to protect the wild orangutan in its native habitat".
 
Willie holds an orangutan while armed tradrers try and hide the evidence of their illegal sale : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Willie holds an orangutan while armed tradrers try and hide the evidence of their illegal sale
Rescue of an orangutan who was found starved and held by a restaurant owner in his back yard. : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Rescue of an orangutan who was found starved and held by a restaurant owner in his back yard.
Emen suffered the loss of four fingers for stealing eggs from her owner's kitchen : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Emen suffered the loss of four fingers for stealing eggs from her owner's kitchen
Orphaned Nian plays amidst carved orangutan skulls confiscated from local merchants : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Orphaned Nian plays amidst carved orangutan skulls confiscated from local merchants
One year old Waanke is an illegal pet with a local, Indonesian family : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
One year old Waanke is an illegal pet with a local, Indonesian family
Putto is ready for the day while Ulla is still preparing his food : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Putto is ready for the day while Ulla is still preparing his food
Putto adores having breakfast with Ulla : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Putto adores having breakfast with Ulla
Ulla gets a hug from Nitnot during his play hour behind her home : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Ulla gets a hug from Nitnot during his play hour behind her home
Jamiat clings to his handler's boots for reassurance : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Jamiat clings to his handler's boots for reassurance
Said and Romi : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Said and Romi
Dr. Willie is greeted affectionately on his visit to the halfway forest : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Dr. Willie is greeted affectionately on his visit to the halfway forest
When it's raining, rescued orangutans prefer hanging out on the boardwalk to climbing wet trees : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
When it's raining, rescued orangutans prefer hanging out on the boardwalk to climbing wet trees
Jeanne teaches local school children on orangutan survival and forest preservation : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Jeanne teaches local school children on orangutan survival and forest preservation
Medical aid for a newly arrived orphan : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Medical aid for a newly arrived orphan
Lorne comforts Gayo, who is severely dehydrated : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Lorne comforts Gayo, who is severely dehydrated
Lorne catches up on her work with lazy Mandra who prefers staying close to her : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Lorne catches up on her work with lazy Mandra who prefers staying close to her
At night Lorne continues working from her home : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
At night Lorne continues working from her home
Late into the night Lorne comforts Metizen who is very ill : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Late into the night Lorne comforts Metizen who is very ill
9 months old Nabima comforts new arrival Kiki, who is emotionally and physically damaged : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
9 months old Nabima comforts new arrival Kiki, who is emotionally and physically damaged
Oyoi learning to climb and which leaves are eatable : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Oyoi learning to climb and which leaves are eatable
As a good surrogate mother, Yati introduces Oyoi to new fruit in the manner his mother would have : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
As a good surrogate mother, Yati introduces Oyoi to new fruit in the manner his mother would have
New arrival Mona gets fingerprinted for future tracking : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
New arrival Mona gets fingerprinted for future tracking
Yati spends her days as a babysitter : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Yati spends her days as a babysitter
Too independent to continue sleeping in her home, Lorne brings Utung to the halfway forest where he will spend his first night away from her : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Too independent to continue sleeping in her home, Lorne brings Utung to the halfway forest where he will spend his first night away from her
Lorne checks to see how new arrival Utung is coping : FEATURE: Orphans of the Forrest : Viviane Moos |  Documentary Photographer
Lorne checks to see how new arrival Utung is coping