AN infant marmoset found living in terrible conditions in a private home in Grays, Essex has been rescued by the RSPCA and taken in by Monkey World to live a much better life.
The plight of the little monkey was discovered when a housing officer visited the premises in June 2021 and reported his concerns to the RSPCA.
RSPCA Inspector Jack Taylor said: “I was shocked by the conditions this poor boy was living in. Named TikTok, he was living a miserable life, left all alone in a parrot cage with none of his essential needs being met.
“Primates are intelligent, sentient and highly social animals with complex needs that simply cannot be met in a domestic environment. TikTok had no companionship, no space to carry out natural behaviour and no enrichment. He was never going to thrive in these shocking conditions. What’s even worse, he was just an infant – only a few months old. Little TikTok should still have been getting full time care and nursing from his mother, but instead, he had been prematurely taken away from his parents.
“He needed rescuing urgently and luckily, after obtaining an agreement for him to be signed over into our care, we were able to find him a forever home at Monkey World. Monkey World Director, Dr Alison Cronin, drove up the same day to bring the youngster back to the centre to meet his new family. We would like to thank this wonderful rescue centre for providing him with a safe and appropriate home for life where all his needs can be met.”
Despite such an awful start to life, TikTok is one of the lucky ones. On the same day he arrived at Monkey World, he was introduced to an adult pair of marmosets, Clydie and Ronnie. Monkey World staff report that in an emotional scene, the baby marmoset cried out to adult female Clydie and jumped onto her back. Clydie instantly adopted him as her own, carrying, grooming, and protecting little TikTok. The baby is now being doted on by both adoptive parents, showing the innate need for parental care of his own kind as he is carried by both of his adoptive parents.
RSPCA Inspector Jack added: “Tiktok’s case perfectly highlights why primates should not be available to the public and why they do not belong in people’s homes. This youngster has been wrenched away from his family to be sold as a novelty pet to someone who doesn’t know, and who hasn’t got a hope of being able to give him what he needs. It’s a situation that just shouldn’t happen.
“Just like humans, primates can become depressed without adequate stimulation. They need a spacious and enriched environment that challenges their intelligent brains and allows for them to behave like primates should. But, sadly, Inspectors like me are still seeing shocking situations where monkeys are cooped up in bird cages, fed fast food, sugary drinks or even Class A drugs, deprived of companions of their own kind, living in dirt and squalor and suffering from disease.”
The RSPCA is delighted that the government is taking action on the trading and keeping of primates in England with the introduction of the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, although the animal charity does not believe the proposed law goes far enough.
The animal charity strongly urges the government to reconsider their proposals, as a ban on the keeping and trade of pet primates is the only answer. This could be phased in gradually, with very limited exceptions made, such as for those involved in the genuine rescue of primates.
At the very least, the RSPCA believes continued breeding and selling of primates between private keepers should be prohibited to end the trade in monkeys like poor TikTok.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.