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Sad Souls, Empty Eyes

What happens when captive wild animals used in entertainment venues become aggressive towards their masters? The answer is often one filled with desolate bleakness. That was the case for these two endangered primates, until yesterday they were living in a human made hell.

After spending the last decade locked away in solitary confinement behind a monkey show venue in Southern Thailand, these two boys were freed yesterday. Some concerned tourists managed to negotiate their release from the venue and transported them to the WFFT Wildlife Rescue Centre.
Firstly, we introduce you to ‘King’, a 12-year-old white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) that was stolen from the wild after his mother was murdered, he was sold to the venue as a photo prop animal to lure more tourists in. After being at the place for a few years King started to become aggressive and could no longer be handled by tourists, he was and continued to be beaten until his release yesterday. He spent 12 years in a 1m2 enclosure, with nothing to protect him from the elements, nothing to climb on, no social interaction and only a bare concrete floor to sleep on. The injuries incurred by years of beatings, particularly on his head are clearly visible. Years of being fed a bad diet of rice and who knows what, has resulted in an adult gibbon that looks a juvenile, his bones and muscles are weak, and some of his teeth are irreversibly damaged. WFFT’s years of experience rehabilitating these special little apes means he has a great chance at becoming a gibbon again.

Secondly, we have one of the most harrowing cases of animal cruelty we have seen in some time. Meet ‘David’, a 9-year-old Northern pig-tailed macaque (Macaca leonina), similarly the King, David was stolen from his family and removed from his forest home. He was trained to perform in cruel shows, where he was forced to ride a bicycle, spin fire battens, and many other unnatural inhumane tricks. This poor soul has lost all his almost all his hair, after being kept in a minute trash filled cage with a chain around his neck, twinned with an improper diet this would have ultimately resulted in his demise. Years of beatings for disobeying his trainer has rendered him blind in both eyes, he can detect only light and shadows. We are surprised and inspired by his bravery, so far he seems rather relaxed after his terrible ordeal and is eating well.

After the long journey from far Southern Thailand they arrived at the WFFT Wildlife Hospital at 12:00 yesterday. They have been given a full health check by our veterinary team, including complete blood and infectious disease tests. They are currently settling into their new lives in the quarantine area at WFFT, under the close observation of our team.

Years of systematic abuse and beating has broken their souls. You are safe now boys, no more beatings, no more pain, your freedom begins here.

Think again before you consider visiting such places while travelling in this part of the word, when you do you are supporting this abhorrent cruelty towards animals. If the demand stops, the abuse goes with it.

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