Some of you may have seen the video of little Maisie the juvenile long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) that we rescued yesterday. Here is her rescue story and the photographs from her rescue, and the initial health check and veterinary treatment at the WFFT Wildlife Hospital.
Yesterday morning, we received a telephone call from some concerned locals who had found a juvenile long-tailed macaque severely injured after she had been electrocuted on exposed power lines. She had been basically fried, sustaining third degree burns to most of her face and body. Her legs and her hands are severely burnt. Maisie’s mother and other troop members watched as the WFFT Wildlife Rescue Team loaded her on the rescue vehicle to take her back to the WFFT Wildlife Hospital, if little Maise’s makes it we hope to reunite her with her mother. The WFFT Team are working around the clock to save her.
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. Although it is under heavy hunting pressure for the pet trade, meat, sport and trophies, this is not considered a major threat to the species overall. Females are often taken into breeding facilities and males are exported internationally primarily for use in laboratory research. They are regularly persecuted as pests. Habitat loss is also a localised threat, but the species can persist in a variety of habitats and very adaptable.
Sadly, the needless electrocution of wild animals happens all to often in Thailand, exposed electricity cables throughout the country severely injure and kill 1000’s of wild animals every year. Injuries caused in human-built environments are common often 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, but on the other hand we hinder it through the continued fragmentation of their habitat, and the capture and exportation for research, and the pet-trade.
The pain and resilience that these little macaques have is unbelievable, we have seen others survive worse injuries than the ones little Maisie has sustained. To those people who yesterday commentated on the video suggesting we should euthanize her, please give us time, we are trying to give her a second chance. We deal with numerous cases like this each month and the vast knowledge of our team, and the determination of these special animals may result in the survival of this little one.
As I write this story the WFFT Vet Team are treating Maisie, the wounds on her legs are worse than we thought, at least one of her legs with have to be amputated. This is a sad story for us all, but there is some hope that she will make it. Please send her all the positive energy you can. She is far from out of the woods.