An adorable baby orangutan and his doting mum clamber freely through the lush green jungle after being released back into the wild.
Mum, Ah Foo, 25, and her 18-month-old baby, Kebaco, swing joyously from the trees after a three-month stint in quarantined captivity.
The pair were rescued from an oil palm plantation after a concerned farmer raised the alarm amid preparations for the harvest – which would have destroyed their home and put them in serious danger.
The team took the mum and baby to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Malaysia to screen them for disease before being released to set up their new home amongst fellow great apes.
A few months after being given the all clear, preparations were made for the journey and release of Ah Foo and Kebaco to embark on their new adventure.
Dr Laura Benedict, from Sarawak, East Malaysia, and her team at the Wildlife Rescue Unit sedated Ah Foo with a tranquilliser for final medical checks and to take her baby away for safe transportation. Blood samples were taken before the apes were driven deep into the Tabin Nature Reserve in the heart of the Sabah rainforest.
On arrival at the chosen tree, nervous Kebaco had to be coaxed from her cage, whereas Ah Foo bolted into the foliage, knocking her baby from the tree in her haste.
However, after acclimatising herself to her new surroundings, she collected Kebaco and built a nest for her sleepy baby to snuggle up for an afternoon nap.
Wild orangutans can only be found in Borneo or the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, and can live up to 45 years. Female orangutans are often found with babies, whereas male orangutans tend to live alone.
Dr Benedict, who was present at the release, says: ‘When we first released them the mother actually straight away went up the tree leaving the baby behind. But after we left for about an hour she claimed back the baby from where we left her.
‘I’m hoping that both of them will continue to survive in the wild.’