Having pets can be a wonderful experience for a family. While most opt to adopt cats or dogs as their new furry family member, sadly, some people believe that an exotic animal is more suited to their tastes. Despite the evident danger involved with owning and housing an animal like a tiger, lion or primate in a suburban backyard, the exotic pet trade runs rampant across the world.

Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) is an organization that is all too familiar with the ill-effects of the exotic pet trade. As a rescue organization, WFFT is often called in to remove exotic pets from homes where they have become too aggressive to handle or suffer from abuse and malnutrition. No matter how good the owner’s intentions may be, most are completely unprepared to care for wild animals and can never come close to replicating their proper environment.


The story of Alicia the gibbon is the perfect example of this.

Alicia came to live with Mr. John, an expat living in Thailand, at the age of six weeks old. The small gibbon’s mother had been killed in the wild a few days before and the person who rescued her believed that Mr. John would be able to care for her. Mr. John intended to bring Alicia to a wildlife rehabilitation center but Thai wildlife authorities told him that their center was too filled with monkeys and he would have to keep her.

Years went by and Alicia grew larger and more aggressive.

Not knowing how what else he could do, Mr. John locked Alicia in a small cage located in his backyard. He was sure to feed her a proper diet, but Alicia grew restless living all alone. 

About a week ago, Alicia managed to escape from this cage. According to WFFT, she threatened nearby children and attacked one of Mr. John’s neighbors. Mr. John was able to capture Alicia and quarantined her in his guest bathroom. However, in the process he sustained some serious bite injuries.

After six days of research, Mr. John finally found WFFT. Their rescue team immediately came to rescue poor, distraught Alicia. 

Thanks to the WFFT rescue team, Alicia is finally being given a chance at a happy life. She has been introduced to another gibbon who lives at the WFFT center and her days of loneliness have come to an end!

While it took six years and a number of very unfortunate events for Alicia to make her way to a sanctuary, we are so pleased that she is finally where she belongs.