Orangutan mother and baby escape forest fires, stoning by villagers

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A photo of an endangered orangutan and her baby that survived forest fires and being stoned by villagers in Indonesia has gone viral, racking up more than 22,000 shares on Facebook as of Wednesday afternoon

The mother orangutan, dubbed Mama Anti, and her tiny baby were rescued by a team from the organization International Animal Rescue (IAR). The orangutans had been forced out of their forest homes by fires and ended up in a village, according to International  Animla Rescue. Frightened villagers threw things at the mother and attempted to capture her and tie her up.

The plight of this orangutan is emblematic of a species that has seen its numbers drop 50 percent over the past 60 years, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, mostly due to rampant illegal logging and the conversion of tropical forests to palm oil plantations.

Fortunately, rescuers reached the pair just in time and quickly anesthetized the mother with her frightened baby clinging to her.

The rescue team checked the mother over and gave her treatment that included intravenous fluids. As the mother recovered from sedation, the pair were transported to a conservation area, where their progress is being monitored. Both are said to be adapting well to their new environment.

A video released by International Animal Rescue shows the animals’ release from their transport cage. In a happy ending, the mother, carrying her baby, immediately climbs a tree and starts to forage.