Registered Charity in England & Wales No.1165941

A Brighter Future for Siti The Lone Macaque

Macaques Siti and Dicky together

New Beginnings for Siti the Macaque: Life Outside the Illegal Animal Trade

Remember Siti, the endangered Moor Macaque (Macaca maura) rescued from the illegal Malaysian pet trade in 2018? After a long and difficult journey, thanks to the tireless efforts of Wild Welfare and the generosity of donors, Siti is finally settling into her new life at the Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue Centre in her native Indonesia.

Siti moving to new home

Siti moving to her new home.

We previously reported on Siti’s incredible story about her journey home, back in April 2023. Siti was illegally trafficked into Malaysia as a baby pet before being rescued by local authorities. A temporary home was found for her at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park who asked Wild Welfare for assistance in finding Siti a suitable long-term refuge. After many years of planning, and a specially chartered flight, she safely arrived at her new home in Indonesia. After a mandatory quarantine period, we’re now thrilled to share more positive news about her progress.

Siti has carefully been introduced to a new male companion macaque named Dicky, who was rescued from West Java by the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN). Macaques, like many primates, are highly social animals. Living in isolation can be extremely detrimental to their mental and physical well-being. As an example, macaques often assist one another with grooming practices, which can help maintain strong social bonds within a troop. This kind of social interaction is crucial for their development and overall health.

They have now been living as neighbours for several weeks, interacting with one another through the dividing fence. Offering the pair a controlled and staged introduction ensures the safety and welfare of both macaques during what can potentially be a dangerous and stressful period of adjustment. A slow introduction process allows them to both assess each other’s body language and behaviour before full interactions occur, thus minimising the risk of aggression. Newly introduced macaques may not always get along well, a slow introduction process allows caregivers to observe their interactions and determine if they seem compatible. This process is especially important for potential breeding pairs like Siti and Dicky.

“Although rescuing animals is not a major part of what we do at Wild Welfare, Siti touched the hearts of our entire team. Every individual animal deserves the opportunity to thrive and live a good life, and seeing Siti experience a good quality of life with other macaques in her native Sulawesi brought joy to all those who helped get her home.” Simon Marsh – Director, Wild Welfare

Siti and Dicky together in their new home.

© Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue Centre – Siti & Dicky together in their new home.

Their gradual introduction period allowed the pair to steadily adjust to each other’s presence. After an initial period of adjustment, the pair were able to live together part-time within the same enclosure, and early signs appear to be very positive. Her caregivers report that Dicky can become a little overzealous at feeding times, often finishing his food before Siti. The decision was therefore made to temporarily separate the couple during feeding hours, while still allowing them to see one another at all times. This has ensured both macaques have a chance to enjoy their meals peacefully and safely while maintaining a healthy and balanced intake of food. Despite the mealtime dramas, Siti and Dicky seem to tolerate each other very well when food is not present and show positive signs of social compatibility.

Siti’s gradual introduction to Dicky allows them to build that essential social connection, offering the companionship and support macaques require.

More recently, Siti’s caregivers have observed that she is currently in her fertile period. The team at Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue Centre are keeping a close eye on the pair, hoping to capture a glimpse of potential mating behaviour. A successful pairing would be a significant development for the conservation efforts of this critically endangered species.

Siti the Macaque

Siti the Macaque.

Siti’s story is a testament to the unwavering dedication of animal welfare organisations like Wild Welfare and the power of strong collective action. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of multiple organisations, government agencies, and generous donors; Siti is finally living a life outside of the conditions experienced by so many trafficked animals. This is a clear reminder that rescues are not the end of the story for animals in need. A long term sustainable solution for their rehabilitation is required to ensure all animals are able to thrive for the rest of their lives. Though the rescue and relocation of individual animals is not a normal part of Wild Welfare’s work, the charity is dedicated to assisting all captive animal facilities in offering the highest possible standards of welfare, through building partnerships and providing practical and sustainable solutions for improving the welfare of animals around the globe. This heartwarming update reminds us of the significant impact we can collectively have not only on the broader context of improving animal welfare standards, but on enriching the lives of individual animals in need.

To help support animals just like Siti, please consider making a small contribution by donating online at Siti’s story shows what is possible with your kind and generous support.



Notes to Editors

For more information or interview requests please contact Wild Welfare on

Wild Welfare is a global organisation committed to improving animal welfare for captive wild animals. By uniting the world’s leading zoos, zoo associations and animal welfare organisations, we build trusting partnerships that help provide long-term solutions to critical wild animal welfare issues.

Our vision is to end the suffering of captive wild animals around the world and ensure full and sustainable protection is given to all animals in human care. Find out more at Registered charity in England (no.1165941).