Meet Nui the elderly female Northern pig-tailed macaque (Macaca leonina) that has been kept in solitary confinement for a staggering 19 years. She had been given to the people that were keeping her by some friends when she was just one-year-old. She will have been poached from the wild to be sold as a pet. They decided to keep her and have treated her like a family member for the last two decades. She was kept in a small cage in the garden and sometimes taken out for playtime. Nui had been fed with fruit, rice and her favorite, chocolate ice-cream. Her owners are moving to another country so asked WFFT for help.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists the Northern pig-tailed macaque as Vulnerable (VU). Their population has declined by over 30% over the last three generations across its entire range due to several threats, and this decline is predicted to continue at the same rate or higher in the next three generations. Habitat disturbances that affect this species’ survival include: selective logging; timber and firewood collection for making charcoal; building roads, dams, power lines; and deliberately setting fires. These animals are hunted and traded for food, sport and traditional “medicine”, and the live animals as pets. In Thailand, the males of this species are exploited for picking coconuts by the industry. Sometimes, a well-trained macaque is sold for 1,000USD. They are also in demand by resorts and other tourist attractions for inhumane circus style shows.
Upon arrival to the WFFT Wildlife Rescue Centre Nui was eating a chocolate ice-cream, we assume this was purchased from the local 7/11 just before arriving, don’t worry she will not be getting any more ice-cream. After her initial health check, we were surprised to find that she is not over weight and seems to be in relative condition considering her past. This old girl is now adjusting to her new life at WFFT. She will soon meet some new friends; this time they will be her own species. Watch this space for updates on this very special little lady.