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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Five baby macaques safe with IAR after capture and smuggling ordeal in Indonesia

Rescued baby macaques at the IAR rescue centreIAR's team in Indonesia is caring for five baby macaques that were rescued from a wildlife smuggler.

Forestry officers in Lampung, southern Sumatra carried out an animal confiscation operation in February. The smuggler was a notorious old woman who is well known in the Lampung province and Jakarta area.

This seemingly harmless old lady supplies animal dealers in Jakarta with stocks of different species of animals - all of them caught from the wild. She has been caught smuggling on numerous occasions in the past but has never been punished and is always allowed to go free: this occasion was no exception. So her vile trade continues while wild animal populations decrease and individual animals endure terrible suffering.

They are torn away from their family groups and subjected to long and stressful journeys before ending up in animal markets in Jakarta. Most of them don’t even make it this far. The ones that survive are likely to end up captive in someone’s home or, if they’re lucky, in a rescue centre.

Among the seized animals were 14 small baby macaques, all of them less than a year old and the smallest one weighing only 500g. Karmele Sanchez of IAR Indonesia says: "These tiny fragile babies were in really bad shape when they arrived at the Lampung forestry office. They had been taken from their mothers when they were far too young and, bewildered and frightened, they were put in cages in strange unfamiliar surroundings with no one and nothing to comfort them. Within just a few days nine of them had died. The remaining five were in very poor condition when the forestry officers appealed for our help - but they were the lucky ones."

Pako recovering from his injury at the IAR rescue centreWhen the babies arrived at our temporary rescue station in Cikananga after a long journey they were all frightened and very weak. Pako, the biggest of the group, had an open fracture on his leg. He had been shot by the hunters when his mother was killed in order to catch him.

Pako was operated on to remove the pellet from his leg. The wound was bandaged and he was put on a course of antibiotics for more than a month. Luckily, Pako started to use the leg more and more. His condition, along with the rest of the group, started to improve dramatically.

Now the five macaques Pako, Pedro, Peke, Petra and Putri are twice the size they were when they arrived. They play all day long and at night they stick together to keep themselves warm while they sleep.

When they grow a bit bigger they will be placed with a foster family that will take care of them.