6 min read

Little Monkey Spent So Long In Tiny Cage That The Door Had Rusted Shut

He couldn't believe it when someone came to help him — or where they took him next ❤😍

The cage was so small, Me Boon couldn’t take two steps without hitting a wall — yet the monkey had been trapped inside of it for six long years.

On Sunday, the team at Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) received a call from a local family who’d been keeping Me Boon, a long-tailed macaque, as a “pet.” When the family first took in Me Boon as a baby, he was friendly and able to be handled — but as he grew up, he changed.

Sad looking macaque inside rusty cage
WFFT

“Me Boon's owners asked us to take him after he had become aggressive and no longer [was] willingly treated like a pet,” Tom Taylor, assistant director of WFFT, told The Dodo. “This is very common when keeping wild animals as pets — as they grow older they no longer want to be treated like human babies.”

Sad macaque inside rusty metal cage
WFFT

While the family did seem to care about Me Boon, feeding him milk and fruit each day, they put him in a small, dirty cage outdoors that would essentially become his prison for the next six years — and Me Boon suffered greatly. He displayed behavior patterns like pacing and head bobbing, which are signs of extreme stress in caged animals.

Cat standing in front of monkey's cage
WFFT

“Imagine this happening to you or I, as a human?” Taylor said. “Locked in box for six years, alone without another human in sight.”

When WFFT went to rescue Me Boon, the team had trouble getting him out of the cage.

Man reaching into captive monkey's cage
WFFT

“He hadn’t been let out in so long that the cage had rusted shut,” Taylor wrote in a Facebook post. “It took us quite some time to wrestle his door open.”

They finally pried open the door, pulled Me Boon out and took him to the WFFT rescue and rehabilitation center.

Empty cage that used to hold a macaque monkey captive
WFFT

“Me Boon was fed pretty well but had no ability to exercise so is now very overweight,” Taylor wrote on Facebook. “His cramped quarters may have also caused one of his feet to turn inwards. He is not the strongest climber or jumper.”

Despite everything he’s been through, Me Boon is already feeling better at the WFFT rescue center.

Monkey getting medical examination
Me Boon getting a medical exam | WFFT

“He has space to stretch, play, relax and learn how to be a macaque,” Taylor wrote on Facebook. “He especially likes to sit in a high corner of his new enclosure that overlooks a separate macaque field full of potential friends. He is very curious about them and watches them all day long.”

Rescued macaque inside rehabilitation cage
WFFT

“It is likely that he has never seen or interacted with any other macaques before in his life since he was cared for by humans since infancy,” Taylor added. “After a period of acclimation, we hope to pair him with a [macaque] family of his own.”

Macaque monkey inside rehabilitation cage
WFFT

While Me Boon is getting a second chance, many other macaques aren’t so lucky. Across Southeast Asia, macaques are frequently captured from the wild to be kept as pets or used in the entertainment trade as “dancing monkeys.” When they become too difficult to handle, they’re chained up or shoved into cages, where they sometimes spend their entire lives.

Sadly, wild macaques are also hunted for food and traditional medicine, and even sold to scientific research facilities around the world as experiment subjects.

Rescued macaque inside cage at rehabilitation center
WFFT

But Me Boon’s life is heading in a different direction. While he’s not eligible for release back in the wild, he’ll live a full, happy life at the WFFT rescue center, all thanks to his former owners’ change of heart.

“We are glad that Me Boon's humans sought a better life for him with us instead,” Taylor wrote on Facebook. “Freedom is the best gift we can give.”
 

To help rescue more macaques like Me Boon, as well as pangolins, slow lorises and other wild animals, you can make a donation to WFFT.