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


Chrissie R
Chrissie R1 months ago

Thank you for posting.

Pat P
Pat P2 months ago

It is bad enough that animals are stolen from their wild habitats to become captives in various locations--but then they are either not given appropriate care and are miserable/abused.

Although it is wonderful that these monkeys have been rescued from their various situations, I hope they are all sufficiently knowledgeable and capable of survival in their new Indonesian home!

Cally Smith
Cally Smith3 months ago

Very good news thank you to all involved x

Peggy B
Peggy B3 months ago


Carole R
Carole R3 months ago

Very good news.

Kimberly Wallace
Kimberly Wallace3 months ago


oliver mally
oliver mally3 months ago

we need more of that! TNX!

Janis K
Janis K3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Berenice Guedes de Sá

Good story! Thanks for sharing!

joan s
joan s3 months ago