Thursday, April 14, 2016


When animal rescuers at the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), in Bangkok, Thailand receive an e-mail, they have no idea what's waiting for them. All they know is that a resident has found an ape in a "dark, dirty hole". But they are not prepared for what they find.
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The man, who tipped them off, led the animal rescuers through a filthy neighborhood to the place where a scared face peered out through a wire mesh. 
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This ape had to wait 25 long years for his freedom. More than two decades he had been trapped in this tiny hole between two houses! People immediately start trying to get little Joe, as he's now called, out of his enclosure.
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Edwin Wiek, the founder of WFFT, remembers: "I have seen so many mistreated animals, but Joe definitely sticks out. The pictures only show a fraction of how bad it really was for him."
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The hole in which he'd lived they now call the "hell hole". Joe had to access to water, the ceiling was very low and the floor was just a pile of garbage, covered in excrement. 
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There is no sun here and Joe's muscles are completely wasted away. He has only survived because passersby have occasionally left food or water out for him. 
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Once Joe is freed, they wrapped the frightened animal in a blanket and try to comfort him. He slowly understands that his suffering has come to an end. 
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At first Joe can barely walk, and he can't climb at all. His muscles are too malnourished and it takes a lot of effort to hold himself up. But with a lot of love, patience and of course bananas, he slowly regains his strength.
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They even found out who Joe belonged to. The former owner revealed that he left Joe behind because he couldn't afford the fees at the local zoos. Therefore in 1991 he left him in this hole. How horrible, to be left behind here!
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Thankfully, Joe's suffering is now a thing of the past. This type of ape can live to be 35, and rescuers hope that he can now live out his twight light years in comfort and happiness.  He is now able to walk again, and with his strong will, he should definitely be able to climb again soon too.
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It's incredible just how carelessly cruel some animals are treated. Thankfully the WFFT organization in Thailand exists and can at least help the fortunate fighters like Joe.