Baby Ello had been kept captive by a villager near Lake Tahai in the sub-district of Tumbang Tahai, Central Kalimantan. More than just a pet, Ello be¬came an interesting spectacle for the villagers. The or¬phaned male orangutan was helpless and simply had to go along with his owner’s wishes to showcase him in public.
Ello’s luck turned when a resident of the village saw fel¬low villagers carrying and exhibiting a baby orangutan. The kind man felt sorry for Ello and decided to contact one of our staff at Nyaru Menteng, prompting us to im¬mediately organize a rescue team in coordination with the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Re¬sources Authority (BKSDA) in Palangkaraya.
Arriving at the village, the team had to conduct sever¬al interviews to obtain the identity of the owner. Once we found out who he was and where he lived, we went straight to his house and sure enough discovered a male baby orangutan in his possession. The baby was quite tame and showed no fear to humans, indicating that he had been in close contacts with humans for a while.
While our vet was checking the initial health of the young orangutan, our communications staff went to dig out more information about the orangutan from his owner. We later learned that the owner had kept the baby orangutan for around seven months. He claimed that he got the orangutan from a man in Bukit Liti Village. He subsequently took the baby home and named him Eli.
Fortunately, the owner seemed to coop¬erate well with our team and understood the reason for the confiscation. He of¬fered no resistance as we brought Eli to Nyaru Menteng on May 9, 2012. Further examination determined that Eli was 1 - 1.5 years old and a little overweight. We later changed his name to Ello, because he is a boy and Eli is a more suitable name for a girl. And just like other newcomers, Ello dutifully passed through quarantine to ensure he was perfectly healthy. Ello has since thrived at Nyaru Menteng and in now in Forest School with all our other young orangutans, learning the forest skills they will need before they can finally be returned to the forest.