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International Animal Rescue – AHS’s charity of 2016

Each year AHS donates money to charity, from small, local causes to organisations supporting international issues. Over the last 12 months, humanitarian causes have been the focus for us.

For 2016 we felt it was time that animals received our support and in November 2015 we heard about International Animal Rescue (IAR), an organisation which saves animals from suffering around the world.

IAR’s work includes cutting free and caring for dancing bears in India and rescuing orangutans in Indonesia, as well as the rescue and rehabilitation of many other species around the world.

AHS was particularly keen to support their work with the orangutans in Indonesia, who are under increasing threat and being killed by fire and starvation as forest fires are wiping out their habitat at a terrifyingly fast rate. We are very happy to have just donated to adopt Gito the baby orangutan who was recently rescued by IAR and we look forward to doing more for this amazing charity over the coming months.

Read more about International Animal Rescue’s great work and Gito’s story here –

Gito’s story

When IAR found Gito they feared he was dead. Gito was less than five months old when he was found. He had been dumped in a filthy cardboard box and left out in the sun to die.

Gito’s arms were folded corpse-like across his tiny body and he looked almost mummified in his cardboard coffin.  Gito had barely any hair on his body and his skin was grey and flaking from sarcoptic mange.

Gito was rushed to IAR’s rescue centre for urgent treatment and was immediately put on a drip and medication for dehydration, malnutrition and the severe skin infection. The medical team began massaging oil into his skin to soften it and to try and relieve the terrible discomfort it was causing.

There’s still a long way to go for poor Gito and it’s still too early to say whether he’s sustained any long term physical damage from being deprived of his mother and the nutrients that are so vital in the development of a young baby.

So far though Gito is responding well to treatment. He has a long fight ahead of him but IAR are determined to get Gito back up in the trees where he belongs!

 International Animal Rescue’s Orangutan Project

The plight of the orangutan in Indonesia has reached a critical stage, with the survival of the species under serious threat. Animals are suffering and dying because of the relentless destruction of the rainforest, primarily for palm oil production. During recent months forest fires raging out of control throughout Indonesia have created an environmental disaster of epic proportions. Millions of acres of rainforest have been destroyed. As their home has been burnt, the orangutans have been left stranded without food and shelter. It is not yet known how many have died in the fires or starved to death. Others have fled into farms and villages where they are in serious danger of being killed. In the Ketapang area of Western Borneo, a team from International Animal Rescue have been risking their lives to save orangutans left homeless and desperate in the debris of the forest.

International Animal Rescue (IAR) whose head office is in East Sussex, runs an orangutan rehabilitation centre in Ketapang, West Borneo. The team rescues and cares for baby orangutans that have been taken from their mothers and illegally sold as pets, as well as adults that have spent their entire lives in captivity, chained up or imprisoned in tiny cages.

IAR’s team also comes to the aid of orangutans left stranded when their forest home is destroyed and translocates them to safe areas of protected forest.

The project was first started in 2009 and since then the team has rescued more than 120 orangutans. The rehabilitation centre is currently home to more than 90 animals and it is hoped that, after undergoing a lengthy and careful rehabilitation process, the majority of these will be able to return to the wild and live safely in areas of protected forest.

Since the fire crisis first began some three months ago IAR’s teams in Ketapang have rescued 20 orangutans from the smouldering forests. Among the animals recently rescued by IAR’s team were a mother and baby whose presence had been reported by a local villager. The previous evening some of the villagers had thrown things at the terrified mother and then attempted to tie her up with a rope that was still round her wrist. Fortunately the team was able to capture them both after anaesthetising the mother with her young infant clinging tightly to her. The pair were subsequently moved and released into a safe area of protected forest.

Alan Knight, IAR Chief Executive, says: “Our team in Borneo is working flat out to save animals that stand no chance of survival without them – and I couldn’t be more proud of what they are doing. As a charity that relies entirely on donations to fund our work, we are deeply indebted to companies and individuals for their support. I’d like to thank AHS for choosing us as their Christmas charity and helping us continue our work rescuing and rehabilitating suffering animals. We couldn’t save a single animal without the support we get from the public.”

Wondering what to buy friends and family for their Birthdays or Christmas? Why not adopt an animal for them from - with the money going towards rescue of many more animals in need.