Starving Rare Indonesian Orangutan Rescued From Cage: Report

May 31, 2016 Updated: May 31, 2016

A 20-year-old orangutan that was locked inside a tiny cage has been rescued in Indonesia.

The Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) said it found the animal in north Sumatra. It has been held in an iron cage in a villager’s backyard, reported MailOnline

The ape was anesthetised via a blow-dart tranquilizer and was treated by veterinarians before it was taken away to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, the report said. The orangutan will be quarantined for a period of time before it regains its health. Officials aren’t sure how long it had been caged.

Photos of the dramatic rescue were published online and made their way onto Twitter this week.

The OIC, according to its website, was founded 15 years ago by Indonesian conservationists in Medan.

“Our focus is working in the front line to save the lives of Sumatran orangutan from life-threatening situation and sustain their survival by working with local communities living alongside orangutan habitat,” the group says.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) lists Bornean orangutans as endangered. About 41,000 live in Borneo, while there are far less Sumatran orangutans—or about 7,500—still in the wild. The Sumatran subspecies is listed by the WWF as critically endangered.

The WWF explains:

The two species of orangutan, Bornean and Sumatran, differ a little in appearance and behavior. While both have shaggy reddish fur, Sumatran orangutans have longer facial hair. Sumatran orangutans are reported to have closer social bonds than their Bornean cousins. Bornean orangutans are more likely to descend from the trees to move around on the ground. Both species have experienced sharp population declines. A century ago there were probably more than 230,000 orangutans in total, but the Bornean orangutan is now estimated to number about 45,000-69,000 (Endangered) and the Sumatran about 7,500 (Critically Endangered).

Orangutans can weigh up to 200 pounds.

They are the largest arboreal mammal, spending much of their time in trees, the WWF says.