In the jungle of southwestern Borneo, rescued baby orangutans are raised and trained to survive in the wild by dedicated foster parents at the Orangutan Foundation International’s Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine.
Mostly ex-captives, these appealing orphans will be ultimately released to suitable, safe forests, but first they have to be cared for, for many years. In smoothly written short chapters, the noted wildlife photographer summarizes the history and purpose of the center and introduces its founder, noted researcher Biruté Mary Galdikas. She describes the threats baby orangs face in the outside world and the nature of their care in the center. There are irresistible pictures of bottle-feeding and bathtime, orangs learning to climb and feed, and, of course, clinging to their foster parents, residents of the village. These sharp photographs are beautifully reproduced in a variety of sizes from spots to full-bleed and extending across the fold. Many are close-ups. A table of contents, index, and headings on each spread help readers find specific subjects, and there are suggestions for ways they can help orangutans and all wildlife. It is heartening to know that some of these human-raised apes have become an important ecotourism attraction in the nearby Tanjung Puting National Park.
This follow-up to Koala Hospital (2015) is easy to booktalk and a treat for any animal lover. (author Q-and-A, glossary, acknowledgements, sources) (Nonfiction. 7-12)