The story of Hug (means love, because he’s very lovely), a 2 year-old rhesus macaque (Macaca mulata)
Nobody knows how he ended up at a villager’s house. Nobody knows what exactly happened to his mom. Nobody knows why his head was shaved bald. He was tied and kept as a pet in one remote village of Laos. He was rescued by a kind lady named Claudia who spotted him and came back to rescue him. She spent one night in a local boat, crossing the country border to travel to the village again. Her next night was spent in an overnight bus to travel from the village to our rescue center. Moreover, she traded her camera to save this baby monkey. The cost of camera and 48 hours journey to save this little creature were only the beginning. Read more about her rescue here.
The story of Faloo, an 8 month-old rhesus macaque (Macaca mulata)
He was found in a local market. The seller said his mother had been killed by hunters. A couple decided to save him by buying him. Maybe they wanted to keep him as their pet but later found out that he’s quite aggressive and not as cuddly as he looks. Maybe they simply want to save him and immediately donated him to our rescue center after buying. Whatever their plan was, Faloo ended up at our rescue center. This story is not new. What he has experienced is no surprise. Most of the animals who ends up at black market have the same history. Probably Hug’s history is similar.
The story of Dam (means black, because she has a dark colored face), a gentle loving Assamese macaque (Macaca assamensis)
To be honest there’s nothing much to tell about Dam. She was already there when I first came. Nobody knows for sure where she came from. Nobody knows what happened to her before she came to the former zoo. As usual, Dam seems to be ignorant. She didn’t care when Faloo was introduced into her group. She looked at him, but didn’t approach him unlike other macaques. To the contrary, Hug was very curious and wanted to befriend Faloo right away. He followed him, grabbed him, chased him, basically he did anything he could do to know more about his new friend. Faloo, on the other side, was scared of Hug’s rather aggressive approach. Dam has been a substitute mother for Hug for a while. Because of this bond, I expected her to treat Hug as her own baby and Faloo as a stranger. Guess what, I was definitely wrong. Whenever Faloo felt threatened by Hug, Dam ‘scolded’ Hug instead of Faloo. She didn’t know Faloo before, she didn’t even approach him when he came, but her maternal instinct tells her all baby should be protected. She knows anyone shouldn’t bully Faloo, not even Hug, ‘her own baby’.
That’s a story about 3 monkeys with unknown past, met at our rescue center and created a new family by their own. Animal bond is beautiful. They teach us true and unconditional love, regardless of EVERYTHING. Yet, they are often considered as nothing more than ‘just an animal’. And we, human, think ourselves are superior while some us can’t even show compassion toward other humans.