Cage 14: The Orangutan

Christina Yin


Cage 14: The Orangutan tells the true story of Bullet, the iconic and most well-known orangutan in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. The researcher-writer traces Bullet’s story from his infancy when he survives gunshot wounds and is named for the bullet removed from his head by a medical doctor, until his incarceration in Cage 14 at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre. It is the story of an orangutan who, in his youth, mimicked his keepers and forest guards, and who throughout his life, preferred the ground to the trees. This orangutan, who chose to stand upright on two legs with his arms folded across his chest, stands posed in such a way today, stuffed and immortalised in a glass display case at Matang Wildlife Centre where rescued and confiscated wildlife are brought to be treated and rehabilitated. Pieced together from interviews with individuals who interacted with Bullet, this creative non-fiction work is a gothic tale of an orangutan’s life at the mercy of his primate cousins, humans.

Keywords: Orangutan, Gothic, Animal welfare, Creative non-fiction, Sarawak, Borneo, Tropics

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