When Edwin Wiek, founder of Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, received an email from a concerned Bangkok resident about a monkey living in a dark, dirty hole on the side of the road, he knew he had to act immediately.

Wiek and his team were guided to the monkey’s location, and what they found was unlike anything they could ever imagine. In a Facebook post, Edwin wrote, “I have seen a lot of animal suffering in the last 17 years, but I would say that the condition the monkey was kept in was probably in the ‘top 10’ of most horrible cases…”

They found out the monkey, named Joe, had been in the hole since 1991! For the past 25 years, he’d been living in this cramped hell hole. But it wasn’t because he had been abandoned. Instead, his cruel owner was keeping him there. When the team sought the owner out, he was quick to give up Joe.

The team acted fast. They sedated Joe, tore down his shameful, dirty home, and began to lift the weak monkey out of his cage. Apparently, his cage was so small that he could not walk or climb. 

Because cars are not able to drive through the slum, the team had to carry Joe to the local police station to have his rescue registered. Then, they were able to take Joe to the quarantine unit in Petchburi, where the WFFT sanctuary is located.

In a touching statement, Edwin reflected, “I have been calling Thailand my home since 1990, for 26 years. On Tuesday I realized that all that time that I have been living and working in Thailand, this monkey has been in that cage, waiting for someone to rescue him. I just wish we would have known earlier.”

Since arriving at WFFT, Joe has started to move around, but he is still very weak. Hopefully, he will be strong enough to climb soon, but for now, he is unable. Joe has also had the chance to interact with some fellow monkeys at the sanctuary. We’re so glad he had the chance to interact with new monkey friends – for the past 25 years, he’s had no contact whatsoever. 

Finally, Joe is getting the freedom he so deserves!  His story is a further remind that these precious, emotional animals should never be taken as pets. If you’d like to help WFFT continue doing amazing work, visit their website and consider making a donation!

All Image Source: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand/Facebook