Viewers are left ‘traumatised’ by cliffhanger ending on Orangutan Jungle School as vets predict a tiny orphaned ape loved for his ‘naughty’ character won’t survive the night
- Viewers of Channel 4’s Orangutan Jungle School were left in tears last night
- Watched as tiny ape Erik, nine, charmed keepers with his ‘naughty’ ways
- But the little animal collapsed, and underwent emergency surgery on his brain
- Vet admitted: ‘It’s really hard as we love the orangutan, but I just feel it’s too late’
- Programme ended on a cliffhanger, with many viewers asking if Erik was alright
Viewers of Channel 4’s Orangutan School were left feeling ‘traumatised’ after the programme ended on a cliffhanger, without revealing whether an the eldest ape at the centre would survive.
The series follows life at Nyaru Menteng in Borneo, Indonesia, and follows the antics, triumphs and tragedies of a group of orphaned orangutans as they learn ‘jungle skills’ before being released to the wild.
Erik, nine, gets special attention from the keepers at the centre, as he’s one of the smallest of the group, despite being the oldest male primate at the orphanage.
But having been charmed by Erik’s ‘naughty’ behaviour, viewers were devastated as he collapsed, and underwent critical surgery to remove an abscess in his skull.
Many took to Twitter to demand to know if the animal was alright.
Viewers were left devastated after last night’s Orangutan Jungle School ended on a cliffhanger as to whether tiny ape Erik would survive the night
Many of those watching took to Twitter to demand to know if the tiny primate would live following his surgeries
One posted: ‘I’ve just discovered #orangutanjungleschool on channel 4. Seriously though, how can you end an episode like that? I need to know if Eric pulls through.’
Another commented: ‘Emotionally a wreck after watching #OrangutanJungleSchool on Channel 4 last night. I tried to stop watching but kept going back.’
Keepers described Erik as needing ‘special attention’ due to his tiny size, but vet Agus insisted his stature didn’t affect his character.
The vet explained: ‘He has a confident personality and strong, I think.’
Nine year old Erik had charmed viewers as keepers described him as ‘naughty’ and always trying to playfully bite their boots
Erik was kept as a pet on a palm oil plantation before he was rescued and taken to jungle school, so vets said he was ‘behind on his jungle skills’
But despite being twice their age, Erik is still only the same size as his classmates.
Agus added: ‘Erik is the smallest in his group. Same like in humans, because sometimes some people grow too big, and the others are just small.’
Like many of the orphans, he has a traumatic history. He was kept as a pet at a palm oil plantation, and rescued when he was nearly two.
Having missed out on learning essential ‘jungle skills’ as a baby, he was behind in his jungle school education.
Viewers fell in love with the naughty ape, who keepers said was behind on his jungle education having been kept as a pet as a baby
The orangutan is one of the smallest in the group, despite being the oldest male at the jungle school
Agus went on: ‘Erik is the naughty one for me. He always bites everyone.’
But keepers grew concerned when Erik became lathargic, and wouldn’t play with the other primates.
One of the babysitters asked him: ‘Why are you so gloomy today?’
Fearing the worst, the keepers rushed Erik back to the clinic, where he suddenly collapses.
After the animal grows lethagic in the jungle, the orangutan later collapsed, with keepers rushing him back to the clinic to get him urgent attention
The vets described it as ‘incredibly’ difficult to know when something is wrong with orangutans due to their strength and resilience.
Vet Argus explained: ‘Erik’s situation is like very bad infection in the ear. It’s like an abscess in the skull inside his head.’
As they began surgery on the animal, they tried to drain the pus out of Erik’s ear – but they grew increasingly concerned that the infection may have ‘attacked his brain’ as well.
And even after surgery, the vets weren’t sure if he would make it.
After the doctors tried to drain fluid from Erik’s fear, they admitted they feared the ape wouldn’t survive the night
Having undergone several sugeries, vet Maryos and his team admit they’re concerned that Erik won’t live through his infection
Vet Maryos explained: ‘His head is really big and swollen. It’s close to his eyes, and he can’t see anything.’
He was at a loss over what happened to the primate, but said the one time they had seen the injury before, the animal had died.
He added: ‘We just tried to do the best. But I think he cannot make it.’
Maryos continued: ‘We don’t know how it’s happened, maybe had a wound and it’s got some infection from the sand or the forest.
Vet Maryos explained it was particularly hard for the vets as they ‘really love’ the orangutans but said he feared it was too late
‘Sometimes it’s really hard as we really love the orangutan, but I just feel it’s too late.’
Viewers were left on a cliffhanger as to whether the ape would survive the night, and emotionally took to Twitter.
One posted: ‘I’m in my feelings watching this orangutan programme.’
Viewers were left stunned over the cliffhanger ending to the programme, and were desperate to know what happened to Erik
‘Oh, Eric,’ another added. ‘He doesn’t look well at all, bless him.’
Another said: ‘Well I thought orangutan jungle school was my new favourite programme, until Eric got ill and now I need to know if he’s okay’
One tweeted: ‘You’d have to have a heart of steel-reinforced rock to have not had a lump in your throat or a tear in your eye while watching.’
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