Wildlife group rescues rare abandoned marmoset in Singapore

Posted by Reyanah Slamdien on 20 December 2018

A black-tufted marmoset, a rare species of monkey and one of the most frequently smuggled wildlife species at that, has been rescued in Singapore, It is the the fifth marmoset to been found abandoned in the area this year.

According to Channel NewsAsia, the wildlife rescue group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) received an alert on Saturday night that a member of the public had seen a marmoset that ‘appear[ed] lost’.

Image: ACRES/ Facebook

ACRES officers visited the area on Sunday morning to look for the animal. “We scouted the site and interviewed residents. Working against time was critical…to ensure the endangered marmoset survives his new environment,” they stated in a Facebook post.

Another resident later spotted the adult marmoset in a basement parking area, and managed to contain the animal in a cardboard box and alert ACRES.

“ACRES is shocked to rescue a fifth marmoset in a year,” the animal rescue group told Channel NewsAsia.

According the trade database of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, these primates are highly sought-after in the exotic pet trade markets of Thailand, the United States, Bangladesh, Singapore and Malaysia.

It is likely that the animal, which is primarily native to Brazil, had been smuggled into Singapore to meet the demands of this thriving market and to be kept or sold illegally.

Given the relatively small size of the monkey, which grows to between 14-19 cm in height (without tail) and 300-500 g in weight, it is easy to smuggle by land, sea or air.

In its Facebook post, ACRES reported that the marmoset will be handed over to the Singapore Zoo.

It also commented on the huge issue of illegal pet trade in Singapore, saying that it “is still very much rampant…and the cruelty behind captive wildlife for the illicit pet trade is unjustified. Just in April this year, four marmosets were found abandoned at a clinic’s doorstep in Singapore.”

Exotic animals do not survive in unfamiliar environments and often die from starvation, stress, animal attacks or road accidents. Removed from their natural habitat, wild animals react nervously to human presence. Furthermore, they are unlikely to reproduce in captivity. Contrary to what many people believe, parrots, marmosets, tortoises and macaws are all wild animals. They belong to, and live better in, natural surroundings.

“We urge public to say no to keeping wild animals as pets and appeal to give any information one may have on the owner of this animal,” ACRES pleaded on its Facebook page.

Picture: ACRES: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society/ Facebook

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