Hughie arrived at the Care Center in August of 1997, weighing only 3.5kg (7.7lbs). He was found next to a palm oil plantation by locals who claimed Hughie’s mother had abandoned him (not something orangutan mothers do). Since his arm was fractured, chances are his mother was shot out of a tree or killed when loggers felled the tree. He was severly dehydrated and placed under the care of a British veterinarian student (an OFI volunteer) named Hugh for whom he is named.Bottle-fed, he could still devour bananas with the two teeth he had (and he loved them). By November of 1997, Hughie was gaining weight and becoming very attached to his caretaker.
One year later, as the only orphan still waking during the night for feeding, Hughie was receiving a tremendous amount of attention. He had good eye-hand coordination, was easily scampering up trees, and displayed an increasing appetite.
May 1999: Hughie is comfortable now sleeping with the other young orangutans, away from his caretaker. He is mischievous and prefers oranges and bananas, when given a choice. Weighing in at over 9kg (almost 20lbs), he has nearly tripled his arrival weight. His well muscled little body enables him to be an excellent climber, and he easily out-wrestles his orphan companions.