The female orangutan Joss, that was recently saved, has been acting really strange: she hugs herself, hits her head on the wall, refuses to be touched and is frightened all the time. Although the baby orangutan got rescued and has received care, she is showing clear signs of trauma.
“Joss constantly hugs herself because she misses physical contact and consolation from her mother. We believe that she lived a very traumatic and stressed life and that’s the reason why she has been acting this way. Animals usually develop stereotypical behavior as a defense mechanism and answer to stressful situations. Our team has never seen an orangutan showing this type of stereotypical behavior as Joss does. It’s really sad to see her behave like this,” explains Jaclyn Eng the veterinarian that’s taking care of Joss.
Dr. Eng also explains that members from the organization has tried to give Joss consolation and to hold her but she’s so scared that she doesn’t allow anyone to touch her.
Before her rescue, Joss was the pet of a man called Dahlan who spent 500.000 Indonesian rupees to buy little Joss because he felt sorry for her. Dahlan says that when he bought Joss, he didn’t know that it’s against the law to keep orangutans as pets. Joss lived in Dahlan’s house, alongside his wife and 4 kids. The organization that rescued Joss thinks that the orangutan was treated like a toy and that’s why Jos experienced trauma and stress.
The organization published a video of Joss’s extraordinary behavior and the director of the International Animal Rescue, Alan Knight, said that this video is truly disturbing.
“This is the sad reality, the reality of what happened to orangutans in Indonesia. It’s possible that little Joss has seen her mother being brutally murdered and then she was sold as a pet. If you just take a look at Joss’s eyes, you’ll see the nightmare she’s gone through,” explains Alan.
Warning: some viewers may find Joss’ abnormal behaviours in this video distressing.