Can you imagine spending the majority of your life in solitary confinement? Sadly, many wild animals who are recklessly taken in as pets undergo this sad and traumatizing experience. For example, Jaw, an elderly female Northern pig-tailed macaque spent the last 15 years as a pet at a temple in Northern Thailand, after being taken in and cared for by monks. She lived without proper care and had no interaction with another of her kind. Eventually, this painful existence started to wear on her.

Luckily, the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) team was alerted of Jaw’s condition by Joy Huss, a local worker who, according to WFFT’s Facebook post, “worked tirelessly with the monks at the temple to try and provide a better future for Jaw.”

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The team headed to the temple to rescue Jaw, where they met her keeper, a monk.

After 15 Years in Solitary Confinement, Elderly Monkey Finally Gets Her Freedom

It’s devastating that monkeys like Jaw are kept as pets, considering the population of Northern pig-tailed macaque has declined by over 30 percent over the last three generations. This is has been caused by habitat disturbances such as logging, timber and firewood collection to make charcoal, construction of roads, dams, power lines, and deliberately-set fires.

After 15 Years in Solitary Confinement, Elderly Monkey Finally Gets Her Freedom

Moreover, macaques are hunted and traded for food, sport, traditional “medicine,” and for the pet trade. After 15 Years in Solitary Confinement, Elderly Monkey Finally Gets Her Freedom

According to WFFT, “In Thailand, the males of this species are exploited for picking coconuts by the industry. Sometimes, a well-trained macaque is sold for $1,000. They are also in demand by resorts and other tourist attractions for inhumane circus style shows.” Thankfully, Jaw will no longer be threatened by such fates thanks to these amazing rescuers!

After 15 Years in Solitary Confinement, Elderly Monkey Finally Gets Her Freedom

After receiving an initial health check, WFFT found that she has a hernia on her abdominal area. After a few days of recovery, the WFFT Vet Team will perform surgery. 

After 15 Years in Solitary Confinement, Elderly Monkey Finally Gets Her Freedom

Jaw is now in quarantine, free to move about without a chain! According to the WFFT team, she is settling in and eating well.

After 15 Years in Solitary Confinement, Elderly Monkey Finally Gets Her Freedom

In the future, Jaw will be introduced to some macaque friends who have also been taken in by WFFT.

After 15 Years in Solitary Confinement, Elderly Monkey Finally Gets Her Freedom

We’re so happy that Jaw, who is lovingly referred to by the WFFT team as a“very special old lady,” will be able to live out the rest of her days in freedom! We agree – she is very special indeed! Just check out her cute little smile!

After 15 Years in Solitary Confinement, Elderly Monkey Finally Gets Her Freedom

If you’d like to make a donation to WFFT to help them continue to do amazing work, click here.

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Image Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook