Almond, a small, female macaque monkey of 7 months old, escaped the worst.
The young monkey, a pet by to a family in Bali, Indonesia, was taken from her nightmare that was a violent owner in the beginning of December. The mother and daughter of her new family went to their neighbor’s house, Lisa, an Australian animal lover who lives on the island, to get help.
Despite the confusing story, a little bit different in each version, the Lisa understood that the macaque they were talking about needed to be taken into care immediately. She took Almond to the veterinarian, who said that her left arm, her left paw and her jaw were all fractured.
Lisa contacted Linda Buller and Ebony Owens, founder of Bali Dog Adoption and Rehabilitation Centre (BARC), who takes care of dogs on the island. BARC also saves monkeys who were taken from their natural habitat and detained by humans. The association has a sanctuary in Tabanan, dedicated to the rehabilitation of these monkeys, where there are already 30 animals.
When Ebony went to fetch Almond, she was surprised by her attitude. She told The Dodo:
She was very affectionate, and had such a sweet nature. It’s really sad what she’s been through, but she still loves people.
Upon the arrival at the sanctuary, Almond met Atsuti, a 5-month old macaque who had also been removed from her mother at a young age to become a pet. She was not abused, but her owner completely neglected to take care of her.
Both of them still being very young, Almond and Atsuti were put into the same cage and their friendship blossomed. Ebony explained:
When they first met, they grabbed each other and hugged for hours until they fell asleep.
Almond and Atsuiti became inseparable. They mutually strengthen each other in difficult moments and spend all their time together. Despite their difficult pasts, good times lie ahead for these two little monkeys who are both recovering well. They will soon be freed into a protected forest.
While this story may have a happy ending, many others do not. Ebony continued:
Anyone can buy a monkey at the market [for] between $20 and $60 dollars. We have tourists come over and buy a monkey for their holiday, or people buy monkeys at the markets because they feel sorry for them.
This species of monkey is not meant to be kept as pets, but they are highly trafficked in Indonesia. Almost 3000 are taken out of their habitat each year to be sold to pharmaceutical laboratories or to be used as “dancing monkeys”.
Macaques are not considered as a threatened species and are therefore not protected by Indonesian law. And what’s worse, the International union for the conservation of nature considers them as pests, because of their adaptability and the threat they pose to the indigenous species of the islands where they were introduced.
H/t: The Dodo