It may seem like fun to have a monkey as a pet or see one in a show – after all, monkeys are cute, smart, and very funny. However, when these animals are taken from the wild, the lives they endure to be someone’s play toy or source of entertainment are filled with shocking cruelty.
Take Khai Liam, a male stump-tailed macaque, who was recently rescued by Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, for example. Kai Liam was stolen from the wild as an infant, taken from his mother after she was killed. Then, he was sold as a pet and spent most of his life in chains on the island of Koh Phangan. He has spent the last five years tethered to a metal pipe on a very short chain and fed only bananas. This is the sad reality of many exotic animals in the pet trade, who are treated as commodities, rather than wild animals.
There has been nothing natural in Khai Liam’s life – no trees, other monkeys, or foraging for food in his forest home. This poignant image highlights just how deeply captivity impacts such an intelligent animal.
Khai Liam is just one of thousands of monkeys who are victimized by the pet trade.The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the stump-tailed macaque as a vulnerable species, primarily due to hunting and continued rates of habitat loss, so the impact of taking them from the wild for our entertainment should not be taken lightly.
Thankfully for this macaque, his captors realized how specialized the needs of these animals are – and how dangerous they become at only a few years old. They contacted the rescue to give him a life free from chains that he deserves. Click here to learn more about Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand‘s work and rescue efforts.