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29 September 2010, 06:00
Cambridgeshire's firefighters are helping to rehabilitate a group of rescued orangutans in Indonesia.
The Fire Service in Cambridgeshire has donated loads of old fire hoses for the animals to use in their enclosure.
The orangutans have all been rescued from captivity and are now being nursed back to health at an enclosure in Sumatra.
They are all mentally scarred having been separated from their mother and often subjected to abuse.
Cambridge University wildlife researcher Hannah Rose Trayford asked the fire service here last year if it was possible to donate old lengths of hose as part of her study into improving the animal's rehabilitation.
She said: "“Fire hoses are more flexible and durable than ropes and better mimic the conditions the orang-utans experience in the wild.
The use of fire hoses in the enclosures has a huge effect by helping to provide the animals with not only the physiological medical care that they need to regain muscle strength and coordination but also to improve their psychological fitness, which goes a long way to speeding up the rehabilitation.
Overall the study showed that even non-natural items can be extremely effective in captive conditions at mimicking the conditions wild orang-utans face, which is an essential factor to successful rehabilitation."