Another heartbreaking story has emerged from Thailand’s forests. A poacher was caught killing a Rhesus Macaque monkey recently, leaving her baby to fend for himself. The images taken immediately after make it impossible to deny the mother/child bond that crosses non-human species.
Each photo captures the anxiety felt by the new orphan. It isn’t clear if he understands his mother is dead but it is clear he is desperate for her love and comfort. Something he will never feel again.
The poaching and wildlife smuggling industries are now epidemics in Asia. Using animals as commodities to sell as meat, trinkets or pets is big business. According to Poaching Facts, the illegal wildlife trade is worth tens of billions of dollars each year. Enough money to inspire some people to kill a baby’s mother.
Fortunately, this poacher was apprehended and the baby will live out his days at a wildlife breeding center. A better outcome than intended by his mother’s killer for sure, but not the same as the life he was born to have.
Want to keep this from happening again? You can help by not supporting the industry. While on vacation, say no to them temptation of taking your picture with an adorable but meant-to-be-wild animal. Don’t buy trinkets and souvenirs made of ivory and other animal products. Take a stand against paying to see animals as entertainment. Don’t even think about purchasing an exotic pet — and most of all, keep the conversation going. The more people know the truth about this industry, the fewer people will contribute to it.