Saving primate Mia

Saving primate Mia

SINGAPORE - Abandoned by her troop and badly injured, the long-tailed macaque's days were almost numbered six weeks ago.

But the monkey - known as Mia - scampered freely into the trees again on Tuesday.

She was released after receiving treatment from members of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society's (Acres) newly-formed Macaque Rescue Team.

They had nursed Mia back to health by getting her medical treatment, which involved inserting pins into her shattered pelvis.

On Tuesday, the team took Mia back to MacRitchie Reservoir Park, where they first found her, and let her return to her jungle home.

Even residents who live near the reservoir hailed the move by Acres, a charity set up in 2001 to advocate an end to animal cruelty.

No one questioned why Acres spent so much resources to help return an injured animal to its troop, when the macaque population there is thriving to the point that they are sometimes seen as a nuisance.

For Mr Louis Ng, chief executive of Acres, saving an injured animal - nuisance or not - is something that must be done.

That is why he set up the Macaque Rescue Team last month to focus on rescuing macaques and responding to human-macaque conflicts.

The rescue team has two full-time staff members who man a 24-hour hotline (9783 7782) on macaque issues around Singapore.

The team also had to undergo a 10-day training course in Laos on handling macaques.

Even residents who are most affected by the monkeys are glad that Mia is back with her troop.

Residents of Westlake Avenue whom The New Paper spoke to agreed that the monkeys should be protected, despite being an occasional nuisance.

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