The baby orangutan, who'd later be named Septian by his rescuers, used to live in the Gunung Leuser National Park in North Sumatra, Indonesia. The park is part of the Leuser Ecosystem, a 6.5 million-acre expanse of rich tropical lowland rainforest, and the only place on earth where Sumatran orangutans, elephants, tigers, rhinos and sun bears cohabitate. Palm oil plantation farmers regularly encroach into the Leuser Ecosystem, clearing vast areas of rainforest that orangutans depend on for food.
While clearing the rainforest, villagers encountered Septian and his mother. Instead of leaving them alone, they killed the mother and took Septian, selling him to a farmer living near Kutacane, Indonesia, for about IDR 200,000 (about $14).