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Little Monkey Spent So Long In Tiny Cage That The Door Had Rusted Shut


The cage was so small, Me Boon couldn’t take two steps without hitting a wall — yet the monkey had been trapped inside of it for six long years.

On Sunday, the team at Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) received a call from a local family who’d been keeping Me Boon, a long-tailed macaque, as a “pet.” When the family first took in Me Boon as a baby, he was friendly and able to be handled — but as he grew up, he changed.

“Me Boon’s owners asked us to take him after he had become aggressive and no longer [was] willingly treated like a pet,” Tom Taylor, assistant director of WFFT, told The Dodo. “This is very common when keeping wild animals as pets — as they grow older they no longer want to be treated like human babies.”

While the family did seem to care about Me Boon, feeding him milk and fruit each day, they put him in a small, dirty cage outdoors that would essentially become his prison for the next six years — and Me Boon suffered greatly. He displayed behavior patterns like pacing and head bobbing, which are signs of extreme stress in caged animals.“Imagine this happening to you or I, as a human?” Taylor said. “Locked in box for six years, alone without another human in sight.”

When WFFT went to rescue Me Boon, the team had trouble getting him out of the cage.“He hadn’t been let out in so long that the cage had rusted shut,” Taylor wrote in a Facebook post. “It took us quite some time to wrestle his door open.”

They finally pried open the door, pulled Me Boon out and took him to the WFFT rescue and rehabilitation center.“Me Boon was fed pretty well but had no ability to exercise so is now very overweight,” Taylor wrote on Facebook. “His cramped quarters may have also caused one of his feet to turn inwards. He is not the strongest climber or jumper.”


Despite everything he’s been through, Me Boon is already feeling better at the WFFT rescue center.

“He has space to stretch, play, relax and learn how to be a macaque,” Taylor wrote on Facebook. “He especially likes to sit in a high corner of his new enclosure that overlooks a separate macaque field full of potential friends. He is very curious about them and watches them all day long.”

“It is likely that he has never seen or interacted with any other macaques before in his life since he was cared for by humans since infancy,” Taylor added. “After a period of acclimation, we hope to pair him with a [macaque] family of his own.”

While Me Boon is getting a second chance, many other macaques aren’t so lucky. Across Southeast Asia, macaques are frequently captured from the wild to be kept as pets or used in the entertainment trade as “dancing monkeys.”

When they become too difficult to handle, they’re chained up or shoved into cages, where they sometimes spend their entire lives.

Sadly, wild macaques are also hunted for food and traditional medicine, and even sold to scientific research facilities around the world as experiment subjects.

But Me Boon’s life is heading in a different direction. While he’s not eligible for release back in the wild, he’ll live a full, happy life at the WFFT rescue center, all thanks to his former owners’ change of heart.


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