Today is a very special day for our beloved Shelton. Exactly ten years ago, on 24 February 2012, our Samboja Lestari team rescued him.
While looking for food, the six to seven-year-old male was beaten, shot multiple times and left for dead in a forested area.
Shelton was traumatised by this horrible incident, and the recovery from his physical and psychological wounds was unimaginably hard. We had to remove his left eye, and he became blind in his right eye. But Shelton never gave up!
He gradually gained confidence and learnt to trust our human caregivers, especially thanks to the help of his best buddy Kopral, who was always there for him.
Kopral, who lost both of his arms in an accident with a powerline, and Shelton maintained a friendship over the many years when Kopral was in forest school but would still take the time to visit his friend. He used to pop in to see Shelton around lunchtime and would even bring his own lunch to Shelton’s complex so the two could eat together.
But the time came when they had to say goodbye. While Shelton needs our special care and therefore has to stay in the socialisation complex, we could move Kopral to a sanctuary island, where he now lives a semi-wild life with young orangutan Marlon and adult female Lesley.
However, Shelton keeps his spirits high. He enjoys playing on the rubber ropes and barrels installed in the complex, works relentlessly on his enrichment items, and loves to make loud noises.
Having a very special place in our caregivers’ hearts, Shelton receives a lot of daily attention, including his favourite coconuts.
Thank you, Shelton, for being such an inspiration to all of us!
Our president, Tony Gilding, was in Samboja Lestari in 2012 when Shelton arrived at our centre. If you haven’t watched his moving video yet, please take a moment to do so.
And if would you like to support our work with a donation to help Shelton and his friends, we would be delighted. Thank you!