Situated in the heart of the Malaysian jungle, the Infant Care Unit at Bukit Merah Lake Town Resort – dubbed Orang-Utan Island – is a very special hospital. Hooked up to a drip, wearing just a nappy and a forlorn expression, the tiny infant stares out through the bars of his cot at the frenzy of activity around him. All of its patients are from the endangered Borneo species of orang-utans, the Pongo Pygmaeus
Many of the 23 baby orangutans treated here were rejected or abused by their mothers. Without milk, they develop severe malnutrition. In hospital, they are cared for just like human babies. Every two hours the patients are bottle fed, and their vital signs are monitored – including blood pressure, blood oxygen content and pulse.
Bed is a cosy cot, with blankets and pillows, while incubators are reserved for those who have particularly low body temperatures. Each morning, the baby orangutans are sponged with antiseptic body wash and weighed. They are also monitored by vets, who make sure they have the required 15 to 22 hours of sleep a day.
a nurse makes up a bottle of formula while another prepares a bath. On a nearby table lies a thermometer, a blood-pressure gauge and bottles of medication. Check out for more pictures