Chained, shaved every day and raped for years by men, an orangutan named ‘Pony’ from Borneo in South East Asia has finally been able to shed off her traumatic experience, 15 years after she was rescued.
Orangutans or other primates can be sold off for £10,000 in prostitution. Reportedly, if four baby orangutans are captured then at least three are killed. These helpless and defenceless animals can be also bought via Instagram or Facebook.
Lying on a dirty mattress and chained to the wall, palm oil workers near Borneo would come to the village to engage in sexual activity with the defenceless animal. She was made to wear jewellery and perfume and the men twice her size would pay money to rape her repeatedly.
Pony was made to undergo this sickening abuse for years until she was finally set free in 2003. It took her 15 years to get over her traumatic ordeal and trust humans again. “It was horrifying. She was a sex slave – it was grotesque,” said Michelle Desilets, who was Director of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation UK when Pony was rescued, reported Metro.uk.
The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation further said that the house owners kidnapped her from her mother when she was young. They do not know how long she was kept in captivity and treated as a prostitute but when they rescued her she was 6 years old. When she was found, she was covered in abscesses due to frequent shaving and was prone to blisters and mosquito bites.
While trying to rescue her, the rescuers were forced and threatened with guns and knives and her ‘madam’ refused to give her up. For her, Pony was a cash machine and she cried bitterly when she was taken away.
It was a difficult journey but Pony has been able to make a full recovery in these 15 years. “The first baby steps were to make her trust us in her new home. We tried to keep men away from her enclosure as she was afraid of them,” said Lone Droscher-Nielson, who helped rescue Pony.
Because she has been in captivity for a long time, she could not be let go in the wild as she never developed survival skills, yet she is a talented one. After her quarantine, she was taken to an enclosure with only female orangutans. It took her time to trust men and she would often get scared whenever she faced men initially after her rescue.
“She slowly recovered and male carers were slowly introduced to her. She didn’t seem to be afraid of them anymore and she was happy with any company she could have,” said Lone Droscher-Nielson. She now stays with seven other orangutans in Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Centre.