Brace yourself for this video of two baby orangutans falling in love after meeting for the first time: It’s dangerously cute. Seriously — it’ll make you “aww” so hard you'll fall off your chair, before slowly melting into a puddle of goo. The two adorable lovebirds are Gito and Asoka, baby oranguatans who were both rescued by the International Animal Rescue and taken to the organization’s rehabilitation facility in West Borneo. The organization believes that both of them were taken from their mothers and kept as pets before being rescued.
This video shows the two orangutans being introduced. International Animal Rescue says this is the very first time that Gito has met another baby orangutan. Although shy at first, Gito and Asoka soon become fast friends, staring into soulfully into each other’s eyes and eventually touching and gently mouthing each other.
This video is a happy follow up to disturbing headlines from a few months ago about Gito’s traumatic early life and rescue. In October, the Daily Mail reported that International Animal Rescue found the tiny orangutan abandoned in a urine-soaked cardboard box in West Borneo. Gito was lying inside the box in a “mummified state,” and at first rescuers thought he was dead. Severely dehydrated and malnourished, Gito was also found to be suffering from sarcoptic mange, a contagious and painful skin disease. (You can read more about that story here; be warned, however, that images of Gito when he was first rescued are very upsetting). Fortunately, Gito was able to recover with care from the staff of International Animal Rescue.
Gito and Asoka are far from the only orangutans that need help. Lis Key, a spokeswoman for International Animal Rescue, explained to USA Today that all orangutans in Borneo are under threat, saying,
As the forests in Borneo are cut or burnt down to make way for palm oil plantations, orangutans are increasingly under threat of starving to death, being captured or coming into conflict with people and being killed.
The group’s rehabilitation center houses almost a hundred young orangutans who were taken from their mothers as babies and adult orangutans who have spent their entire lives in captivity. Alan Knight OBE, CEO of International Animal Rescue, said in a statement, “[Gito and Asoka] are both getting stronger and more confident by the day, under the watchful eye of the team at our center.” Key said that the pair will eventually be released back into the wild, though it may first take years of rehabilitation.
Watch the full video of Gito and Asoka's first meeting below. You may want to grab a towel or something first — you're gonna start melting the moment these two lay eyes on each other.
To learn more about International Animal Rescue and how to contribute to its orangutan rescue program, check out the organization’s website.
Images: YouTube (5)