We have recently again been inundated with requests to rescue several Macaques and accusations about our alleged involvement in the abuse of these animals.
The Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team has rescued several primates from Angkor in the past that were reported by individuals such as yourself. The team is tasked with combating the illegal wildlife trade throughout the country, rescuing victims of trafficking and ensuring the best outcomes for each individual. We have recently been inundated with requests to intervene and rescue infant macaques that are seen on YouTube. We appreciate your concern and agree that no one wants to see this individual, or any animals, suffer.
However, our rescue team was created to combat the illegal wildlife trade and has limited resources. Sadly, we do not have the capacity to rescue every injured or abused animal in Cambodia, and by continuing to intervene in these matters and remove the animals we are just perpetuating these videos, channels and the behaviours of the filmers responsible for them.
As you may be aware, there are suspicions that the videographers filming these macaques interfere with the animals to ensure they have filming opportunities. We have been informed that often these interferences are of a cruel nature, such as causing or faking the death of a mother to ensure there is an orphan to film. A recent trend has been to hurt the macaques or otherwise put them in dramatic situations and then the VO’s will play the rescuers. The number of followers on the YouTube channels ensures that videographers are making a lot of money from their videos and therefore have a significant financial interest in continuing this activity.
However, you can help!
By taking the three steps outlined below, you can work to stop the abuse of these animals:
1) Most importantly, STOP WATCHING the YouTube channels. There is evidence that these filmmakers are abusing and otherwise interfering with these wild animals, including possibly killing individuals. By continuing to watch these videos you are directly and financially supporting these individuals and condoning and encouraging their behavior by doing so. They will not stop abusing the animals whilst they are receiving views and followers and therefore generating money from their videos.
2) Complain to the relevant authorities. By notifying the local authorities directly, they are able to take steps to protect the macaques and other wildlife in the Angkor complex.
3) Report any videos and channels such as these that exploit and abuse wildlife to YouTube. By reporting and flagging the videos, and encouraging others to do so, you can remove the financial incentive to continue abusing the macaques. Animal abuse is against YouTube’s terms of service, and they have recommended reporting the channels as ‘violent threats’ with a brief explanation.