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