Simba

Simba

A little about Simba… a piece of rubbish or the king of lions

He sits all day in a corner of his cage holding on to the bars. He will not eat, he will not drink. He will hardly look at us. Any contact is met by a whine and eyes full of fear. Any attempt to take him out of his cage, out on the lawn, out in the forest, fails as he runs back to his cage as soon as he eyes a chance… perhaps it feels safer, just to sit and hold on to the bars in the corner of his cage. His name is Simba… the name of a lion, but he appears to be everything but. Simba is 6 years old. He is slowly loosing weight and strength. He has already lost his faith in humans. Simba was found on a rubbish dump in the Industrial town of Semerang on Java. He had been somebody’s pet for at least 4-5 years. Intensive confiscation campaigns perhaps scared his owners and perhaps, afraid of being punished for keeping an orangutan as a pet, they threw him out like a piece of rubbish, tied up in a rice sac and dumped in the middle of the night. We understand why he has lost faith in humans, why he is afraid, why he is depressed… now we only need to find a way to let him regain his trust, loose his fear and get him out of the hole of depression he has fallen into. We fear it will be a very long, slow journey and can only hope that his physical health will hold that long. I found this unfinished story a couple of days ago lost in the tens of other half finished stories I have stored on my computer. It made me cry. It made me cry because we did not manage to save Simba. Simba died on the 17th of April after two weeks of 24 intensive care. We did everything in our power to save him. He was on intraveneous fluids, antibiotics, oxygen, was tube fed and given all the love and care we could possible give him. He never really did give in to the love we wanted so badly for him to have. He would accept us because he did not have the strength to ‘fight’ us anymore. He slept in quietly during the night while I was holding his hand and gently talking to him The autopsy and following tissue tests showed that Simba died of tuberculosis. All his organs were infected and destroyed by TB. He had been sick for a long, long time before he came to Nyaru Menteng… It makes me think that Simba perhaps also was thrown away because he was in such bad condition and his owners could not be bothered to keep him anymore. Had he just come earlier, perhaps we could have had a chance to save him. He was so brave, though he must have been in terrible pain he never cried, never did he complain… to some he was just a piece of rubbish, but to me he was as brave as the king of lions.

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Orangutans are endangered and at risk of extinction. Habitat destruction means hundreds of orphan orangutans need to care for every year. You can help by adopting one. Their dedicated ‘nannies’ teach them everything they need to know for when it’s time to release them back to the wild. You can follow their progress through Forest School.

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