Yesterday the WFFT Wildlife Rescue Team headed out to rescue an unwanted pet female long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis). We received a call from the owner who had suffered from a stroke and was unable to take care of her anymore. We have named her Wan Jai (Sweet heart) as the previous owner said they had never given her a name during the five years they had her. She had been kept as a pet for 5 years, most of this time she had spent in the small cage in the garden, as you see in the images. During the the night Wan Jai was taken into the house and slept in the bed of the owner. We were told that she was ‘rescued’ as an infant after her mother was hit by a car and killed, the injuries from this accident are still visible, she has a deformed spine, and has some trouble walking and climbing.
The long-tailed macaque is listed as Least Concern (LC) by the IUCN Red list of Threatened Species, in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, occurrence in a number of protected areas. Habitat loss and degradation due to human encroachment, pose the biggest threat to all macaque species. They are regularly persecuted as pests. Increasing competition between macaques and humans due the increase in need of land for agriculture and other human activities is the foremost reason that macaques are persecuted as pests. Hostile encounters with macaques are common in urban areas due to the active promotion of their presence for spiritual and entertainment purposes by provisioning food for the macaques. We (humans) both promote population growth through the provision of food and the protection habitat, and on the other hand we hinder it through the continued fragmentation of habitat, capture and exportation for research, and the pet-trade.
Wan Jai is currently in the WFFT Wildlife Hospital under the supervision of our vet team while she settles in to her new life at WFFT. We are hopeful that in the future she will be successfully integrated into one of the existing troops of macaques living in one of our large open top fields. We will keep you posted on her progress. Keep Wildlife Wild and Not as Pets!!!