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Autobiography of an Orangutan

Imagine that you are an orangutan. Write your life story using the pictures.

Orangutan

I am a male orang-utan living in the Hamburg Zoo in Germany. Sometimes I wish I were swinging from tree to tree in the Borneo jungle, but I guess I am as happy as I can be here.

Born in Borneo, I was two years old and still clinging to my mother when poachers caught us and killed my mother. As I was still holding on tight to her, they snatched me roughly away. I was then stuffed into a sack. I lost consciousness at that point.

When I woke up I found myself in a cage sliding across a moving floor. My cage knocked into other cages from the rocking and rolling action beneath. I saw a cassowary, a bird of paradise, and other orang-utans imprisoned in the other cages. We were all miserable and sick.

The pirate boat smuggling us capsized against a rocky shore. I was tossed on the waves in my rotting cage. Miraculously, I was saved by some fishermen who handed me to a man called Willie. After gently tending to me, he took me away in his van.

I was placed in a nursery for orang-utan orphans in the Jakarta Zoo. We were cared for by Ulla, a German lady who had been taking care of creatures like us for over forty years. I was happy there with the other orphans. Ulla and her assistants let us play in two specially-built playgrounds where we swung from branches and climbed trees. They fed and cared for us as our mothers would have done, because orang-utans are dependent on their mothers for the first six years of their lives. Under their care, most orang-utans survive and many are released back into the wild.

However I could not be rehabilitated completely. I could not survive in the wild. That is why when I was eight years old, Ulla brought me to this zoo.

     
 
 
 

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