Could you imagine being locked in your closet, with no friends, and only a TV to entertain you? This was Maggie’s life for 10 long years.
Because of lax laws for protecting exotic animals, Maggie was purchased on a whim, then confined to a cramped cage and fed French fries and other junk food. Maggie hadn’t seen another monkey since she was torn away from her mother more than a decade ago. The television was Maggie’s only companion, and she refused to eat unless the TV was on.
After learning about Maggie, PETA arranged for two local supporters to transport her from her home in Indiana to the Primate Rescue Center (PRC) in Kentucky. During the two-and-a-half-hour drive, Maggie clutched her pink blanket and gazed with fascination out the window of the car.
Veterinarians discovered that Maggie was suffering from a serious fungal infection, chronic gastrointestinal disease (probably as a result of eating so much junk food) and depression.
After being treated at PRC, Maggie was transported to her permanent home at The Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation sanctuary in Texas. Maggie is staying in an introductory enclosure until she gets settled, but soon she’ll move into a spacious habitat with nine monkey friends.
Maggie will never be locked in a cramped cage again. She will soon be able to climb trees, swim in a pool, and start being a monkey again. Maggie now enjoys eating fresh, healthy food—without the TV on. Watermelons are her favorite!
What You Can Do
1. Never buy an “exotic” animal. When people buy hedgehogs, macaws, lizards, and monkeys—even tigers and bears—it often leads to pain and death for these animals, who can easily suffer from malnutrition, loneliness, and the overwhelming stress of confinement to an unnatural environment. The exotic-animal trade is also deadly for animals we don’t see: For every animal who makes it to the store or the auction, countless others die along the way.
2. If you’re old enough to vote, support laws that would make it illegal to own exotic animals in your community.
3. Never be silent! If you are concerned about the welfare of an exotic animal in your community, contact your local humane society. Sometimes animal control officials only conduct investigations after they receive complaints from neighbors. By speaking up, you could help an animal like Maggie finally get the life that he or she deserves.
4. Share this with your friends and family to let them know that exotic animals deserve better!