Ignatious, nicknamed Iggy, is a golden-cheeked gibbon who was separated from his parents when he was less than a year old. He was found all alone in a tree by a master’s student who was coincidentally writing a thesis on gibbons in Cambodia. The student grew worried for the young ape and contacted Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center.
Iggy was far too young to be left on his own. It’s unknown exactly how this happened, but there’s a good chance that his parents were killed by poachers. Nicole Leroux, a conservationist at the rescue center explained that gibbons usually stay with their parents until they’re around four years old.
When Iggy was brought into the rescue center, he was malnourished and dehydrated. His ribs were poking out, and he had spots all over his stomach and chest. He was so weak that he could barely move. He was a given a teddy bear to cuddle up with, but he wound up resting against it because he felt so sick.
“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 told The Dodo.
They put Iggy on a healthy diet and took great care of him. Soon enough, he began to gain weight and the spots on his stomach disappeared. Now, Iggy is two years old and living the good life at the rescue center. They don’t plan on releasing Iggy as of right now because the area he was found in is threatened by severe deforestation and illegal logging. Iggy’s safety is their first priority!
Once Iggy is a little bigger, they plan on introducing him to a female golden-cheeked gibbon at the center. They believe that the two would make great companions for each other, and being the only two gold-cheeked gibbons at the center, they both could really use a friend!
Check out some more adorable photos of Iggy: