24 Rescued Pet Monkeys Are Returned to Their Jungle Home

Twenty-four monkeys who were stolen from their wild home to live as captive pets are now safe and back in their rainforest home in Indonesia.

The group consisted of 18 long-tailed macaques and six pig-tailed macaques who had been kept as pets and were either abandoned or surrendered by their owners after they got tired of keeping them, or the monkeys got too big and difficult to handle.

Fortunately, they were taken in by International Animal Rescue (IAR), which aims to rescue, rehabilitate and release as many as they can. According to IAR, macaques are one of the most heavily traded primate species in Indonesian pet markets, and they’re unfortunately left with no legal protection against the abuse that accompanies the pet trade, which ranges from being caged, chained or forced to perform on the streets.

IMG_7752_preview-1Credit: International Animal Rescue

“These monkeys should not be used for entertainment or kept at home as pets,” said Imam Arifin, a member of IAR Indonesia’s medical team. “They are wild animals that should be allowed to live in their natural habitat.”

IMG_7379_previewCredit: International Animal Rescue

Once rescued, the macaques are first kept in quarantine at IAR’s Primate Rehabilitation Centre in Bogor, West Java, until it’s confirmed that they’re healthy. Then they begin rehabilitation, where they’re reintroduced to natural foods and encouraged to exhibit behaviors they’ll need to survive on their own in the wild. They’re also socialized in groups they’ll stay with once they’re released, and for some it’s the first time they meet others of their kind.

The latest group to be returned home were taken to the Batutegi Protected Forest Area of Lampung with the assistance of local residents from Batutegi.

IMG_7626_previewCredit: International Animal Rescue

There they spent a few days in habituation cages to get used to their surroundings before being set free.

IMG_7713_previewCredit: International Animal Rescue

It’s hoped they’ll thrive in their new home, and will not only enjoy their new found freedom but fulfill their role in the ecosystem, and their story will hopefully help raise awareness about the threat the pet trade poses these intelligent and social creatures.

IMG_7715_previewCredit: International Animal Rescue

“Macaques are commonly caught and kept as pets in Indonesia. Their lives in captivity are utterly miserable and we are always delighted to be able to rescue these intelligent and sociable primates, rekindle their natural behaviours and return them to their home in the forest. It is a long and painstaking process but worth all the time and effort to give these monkeys back their freedom,” said Alan Knight OBE, Chief Executive of IAR.

For more on how to help, check out International Animal Rescue.

Photo credit: International Animal Rescue


Peggy B
Peggy B4 days ago


Carole R
Carole R5 days ago

Very good news.

oliver mally
oliver mally8 days ago

we need more of that! TNX!

Janis K
Janis K8 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

Berenice Guedes de Sá

Good story! Thanks for sharing!

joan s
joan silaco8 days ago


jessica r
jessica r8 days ago

Great story! Thanks for posting it.

Kayla M
Kayla M8 days ago

So happy for them!

Lenore K
Lenore K8 days ago