Many baby monkeys end up being sold as pets after their mothers and close families get killed for bushmeat. And it’s probably what happened to Mali the macaque before living with a family for three years. But things got worse and the owners had to tie their pet outside. Her owners realized they’ve made a mistake. Having a wild animal as a pet wasn’t a good idea, especially when Mali got a little aggressive.
Her owners contacted Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) to help them with Mali. But the story got a little more complicated than that…
20. Mali’s Life as a Pet
Mali lived with a family for three years. She was treated like a baby and she might have been loved, but her lifestyle was not very healthy. Mali received treats like candy and other sweets and she has never seen a macaque in her life…
19. Calling Experts to Get Help
This January, Mali lashed out and bit her owner, making them reconsider if having a wild animal as a pet was a good idea. Realizing their mistake, they called Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), hoping they can take Mali away.
18. Getting Medication Was Not a Solution
Previously to lashing out, Mali received ‘two human contraceptive injections to try and calm her down, or make her less aggressive’, said a blog post on the organization’s website. They also said that the family ‘wanted a better home for her’.
17. Going to the Rescue Center
The rescue team from WFFT came to take Mali to the rescue center. It was a little bit difficult, as the team believed that Mali was younger and smaller, and could fit in a cage. The owner had to come with them, and keep Mali in her arms…
16. An Unofficial Visit
When the rescuers thought that it was the end of Mali’s past life, they were wrong. Mali had to stay for a little while in quarantine. That’s when her former owner trespassed and paid Mali an unofficial visit, feeding her milk, ice cream and candy…
15. A Very Important Period
Quarantine period is very important to monkeys. They need to spend less time with humans, to be more perceptive when it comes to interacting with other monkeys. There is also the issue of jealousy, which almost cost Mali her tail in the upcoming weeks. Here’s why.
14. Learning How to Be a Monkey
‘Monkeys are slowly given time to get used to life without humans. They get a chance to see other members of the same species, and begin to learn to be a monkey again,’ explained the rescuers. And the former owners made it more difficult…
13. A New Enclosure
Mali had to be moved to a new enclosure so that her former owners didn’t find her. She was going to live with other 19 rescued macaques, which were just like Mali, victims of trading wildlife. They all learned how to be a family.
12. Wild Animals Traded as Pets
‘An unthinkable quantity of wild animals are poached from the wild when babies after moms have been killed, and then are sold as pets or as photo props, or used to entertain tourists in circus shows’, said WFFT. Mali was one of them…
11. Getting to Know Each Other
When Mali was finally getting close to making a connection with the other macaques, the former owner snuck again into the center and brought her food and cuddled her through the fence. But that almost cost Mali’s tail!
10. A Kind Gesture Which Did More Harm
It’s understandable that any owner would miss their pet, but the former owner acted in a selfish manner, as their actions only brought harm to Mali. A monkey bit her tail, because according to the rescuers, ‘they became jealous.’
9. Irresponsible Behavior
‘This single incident was caused by the owner’s irresponsible behavior … No wild animal should be kept as a pet, and definitely not treated like a human baby,’ continued WFFT. After the incident, Mali had to stay at the hospital…
8. Treatment and Regular Check-Ups
After getting bit, Mali had to stay for a few days to get her tail treated. After she gets well, she will return to the group, but the staff will have to keep an eye on them. It will take time for Mali to become a member of the family.
7. A New Life
When she gets accustomed to her new life, Mali will enjoy living a carefree life, swinging and climbing in the trees, eating healthy food and wearing no clothes. The caretakers have said that she ‘is doing very well and is becoming calmer by the day.’
6. Wildlife Friends Foundation Started in 2001
It’s been 17 years since the WFFT started and the founder is Edwin Wiek. He posted a story about his dream of creating this foundation and how everyone around him thought he was ‘crazy’. this is what he said…
5. Not a Type of Work He’d Handle
‘A lot of my friends and family said I was crazy, this kind of work was something for professionals and not for me,’ and he agrees that he is crazy about animals and making justice for them. This is what made him start it all…
4. The Thrill of the Rescue
He admits that he is now less present in the rescue missions because he must spend time in offices, meeting rooms and so on, keeping him ‘away from the job that initially got me into this, the thrill of the rescue mission.’
3. Saving Mali and Other Monkeys
Edwin Wiek continues his story. After people found out about Mali’s rescue, the rescue organization started getting ‘20 different calls for help’, most of them being cases of ‘pets’ that needed a new home.
2. A Concerning Issue
The problem with so many macaques being held as pets is that some owners love them so much, but can no longer handle the responsibility. Fearing they might die in the wild, people keep the macaques tied or locked in cages…
1. Why Not Calling Rescue Organizations?
Edwin said that many organizations don’t care about macaques, because they’re ‘hardly considered of any conservation value. Thousands are being kept around Asia in horrible conditions with little hope for a rescue or a second chance in life,’ he added.
His last words made us cry: ‘For all the macaques out there, I care about you and when I know where you are I will come and get you!’