Slave Trade Remembrance Day: Monkeys Being Used in Coconut Farms and Orangutans for 'Sex Slavery'

Monkeys are dressed in different outfits as their captors control them by choking them with tight ropes while they perform on the streets in Thailand

The UNESCO, on August 23, celebrates the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, every year. Though slave trade has been banned in modern times, illegal human and animal trafficking for slavery and other purposes still remains a major concern globally.

This year we are looking into the world of animal slavery, which has been predominant in different Asian countries for quite some time. A new report by The Sun explored the dark sides of the 'monkey business' that goes on in Thailand.

Monkeys Taught How to Work as 'Tools' for Making Money at 'Schools'

Monkeys Used as Tools for Making Money
Monkeys Used as Tools for Making Money in Thailand Pixabay

Thailand has a reputation for abusing animals and using them for making money. The pig-tailed macaque is one type of monkeys that are used as slaves at the farms in Thailand. They never get the experience of freedom as they are captured from their mothers as a baby. A report by PETA revealed that these animals are also used for the production of common supermarket coconut, like milk, yogurt, and oil.

Footage taken by PETA Asia investigators gave an idea about how monkeys are treated at coconut farms. The investigators visited eight farms and got to know that the primates are kept in cages from where they cannot escape. They also visited four monkey schools, where the animals are taught how to pick coconuts or entertain tourists.

Jason Baker, the senior vice president of PETA Asia was the major force behind the investigation. "Monkeys are taken from their natural homes as babies, held captive, chained alone to tyres and old barrels, trained by force, and made to work under the threat of punishment. They're fitted with rigid metal collars and kept chained or tethered for extended periods," he told Sun Online.

Monkeys Denied Freedom From Childhood

Monkeys Entertaining Tourists in China
Monkeys Entertaining Tourists in China Wikimedia Commons

"Denied the freedom to move around, socialize with others, or do anything else that's natural and important to them, these intelligent animals slowly lose their minds. Driven to desperation, they pace and circle endlessly on the barren, rubbish-strewn patches of dirt where they're chained," he added.

According to the report, the practice has severe effect on monkeys as they stay captive and their life expectancy decreases by 10 years. Moreover, if they try to fight back, they are tortured and even their canine teeth likely pulled out, Baker said.

Pony, the Sex Slave

However, it is not just farm work or entertaining customers, there are many other atrocious treatments that they are subjected too. The former director of Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation UK Michelle Desilets had previously revealed to The Sun the horrific and gruesome story of a female Orangutan named Pony. The primate was forced to work as a prostitute for the remote farmworkers of Borneo.

She was chained to a bed, shaved daily, and was forced to wear perfume and jewelry. Men could choose to pay for having sex with her. "It was horrifying. She was a sex slave – it was grotesque. She was covered in abscesses, and they put make-up and earrings on her. She must have been in so much pain. It was horrible to think about how terrified she must have been," Michelle mentioned.

The orangutan was later rescued by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. According to reports, around 1,000 orangutans are killed every year so that their babies can be sold in the black market.

Many cases of monkey slavery go in plain sight as a lot of them perform on streets to entertain tourists in Thailand. They are dressed in different outfits as their captors control them by choking them with tight ropes. Street performances have been banned in Indonesia and PETA has also asked the Thailand government to stop the enslavement of monkeys.

It will be interesting to see what lies in the fate of the primates of Thailand in the future. Hopefully, there will be light at the end of the tunnel for abused animals too.