Iggy the orphaned ape receives teddy bear with heartbeat
Found by a master’s student in Cambodia March 2015, the golden-cheeked gibbon was far too young to be left on his own.
Nicole Leroux, a conservationist at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center, believes that Iggy's parents are dead, as gibbons tend to be protective of their offspring for the first four years of their lives.
"Usually, when baby gibbons are found by themselves, it means the parents have probably been killed by poachers.". she explained.
Since Iggy came to the rescue center, he has recovered from malnourishment and dehydration, his fur having grown back completely.
"We limit contact as much as possible so that our animals do not become too acclimated to people, so we provide our baby primates surrogate mothers in the form of teddy bears fitted with battery-operated hearts to grip onto," Leroux said.
Iggy, now 2 years old, is full of energy and life. However there aren't any plans for him to be released yet as gibbons are primarily found in northeast Cambodia, which is threatened by deforestation and illegal logging.
"In the future, when he is a bit larger and a bit more coordinated, we plan to introduce him to a female golden-cheeked gibbon at the center," Leroux said.