Authorities in Malaysia announced this weekend the capture of a boy who has been raised by a congress of orangutans.
Apparently the "feral child of Borneo", as he is called by locals who have been reporting sighting of the child for many months, has been raised by the orangutans for years. The big apes seem to have adopted him as one of their own children. Many believe he was rescued by the primates after he was lost in the dangerous jungles as an infant. As of yet, no one knows who he is, though. Borneo is home to one of the largest rainforest in the world.
"We are trying to establish the actual age and identity of the boy" explains Osman Mahmat Rahman, public relations officer for the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP). "The boy is extremely nervous and aggressive when approached by humans and that made his capture quite complicated, especially since the other ourangutans attempted vigorously to defend him. We had to "tranquilize" three of the adult apes using darts filled with sedatives, before we could lay our hands on the child. We really went to great lengths to make sure we did not injure him during the operation. The boy was immediately taken to the hospital and was put under the custody of agents from the Social Welfare Department."
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After his apprehension, doctors at the Borneo Medical Center were able to examine him. They determined that the boy was in surprisingly good health, according to world news daily report. According to experts, he seems to be thriving, considering the circumstances. He shows normal growth and development and no sign of malnutrition. The observations also show that he had probably been living with the animals for at least two or three years, as he seems to have forgotten all previous forms of human socialisation.
For now, the identity of the boy and the circumstances under which he found himself with this group of primates remain a mystery" states Aisyah Megat, a social worker who has observed the child. "We cannot say yet, whether he was victim of an accident or of negligence, all we know is that he is between four and seven years old, and look in good shape. What we really care about for now is to make sure that he is healthy and that he is able to gradually return to a "normal" human life. He is obviously very stressed at the moment, so we're trying to comfort him and make him feel more secure."
At this point, no one knows how the child ended up among the group of apes, but they hope to piece together the mystery as the child becomes reestablished in human society.