Please don't go! Orphan orangutan clings onto his ranger's leg

By Mail Foreign Service

Cling-on: This three-year-old ape has developed a close relationship with his ranger at a protected park in Malaysia, where he lives with other orphaned orangutans

This shy orphan orangutan won't let go of a ranger who he's adopted as his surrogate parent.

The three-year-old ape, whose mother was shot by hunters, clung onto the ranger's boot for reassurance at a wildlife park at feeding time.

The young male is among a group of wild orangutans that live in a protected park in Malaysia.

The guides feed the orangutans twice a day at the park that is attached to the Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort, near Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Loving: The young male joined the group after his mother was shot by poachers

Australian photographer Steve Bullock captured these pictures whilst visiting the resort on his honeymoon.

The 26-year-old said: 'It was fantastic to see how the youngster interacted with the guide.

'He was holding on for a few minutes before climbing up the ranger's leg and into his arms.

'He is a young boy and quite playful but also very shy, he feels safest in the arms of the ranger - he definitely sees him as a father figure.

'He was only a recent addition to the reserve after his mother was shot.

'Each day there are two feeding times where several of the orangutans will arrive for a free feed.

'Some come daily, some every few days, some not at all.

Comfort: The orangutan is thought to see his ranger as a father figure

'It is heartbreaking to hear the ranger speak of the destruction to their natural habitat.

'On the other hand I was happy that this little guy has a safe future at the two reserves before hopefully one day being released into a safe area of Sabah.'

There are nine orphans in the protected park and they will stay there until they are seven-years-old.

They will then be transferred to the other side of the island where there are hundreds of adult orphans living. Orangutans live for up to 50 years in the wild.

Orangutans are classed as an endangered species and are threatened due to their habitats being destroyed, being hunted and the illegal trade in pets.

Among the most intelligent of primates, wild orangutans live exclusively in Asia and are rarely aggressive.

They use a variety of sophisticated tools and make sleeping nests each night from branches and foliage.

source: dailymail