Even though keeping macaques as pets is illegal in Thailand, the ban on the practice can be hard to enforce — and, sadly, the wildlife trade can be lucrative for people hoping to make a quick buck. Most likely, this is what happened to John.
“Likely taken as a baby from the wild, his mother would have been killed to allow his poachers to catch him,” WFFT explained. “He would then have been sold as a pet in the lucrative wildlife pet trade … Baby macaques seem super cute and are seen as something of a status symbol. Unfortunately they are very high-maintenance as pets and quickly grow into adults that can be destructive and dangerous.”