He raised funds for starving animals

WiekCage cover
Images adapted from: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand and Royal Coast Review

While humans are struggling to get by with job losses and indefinite “new normal” measures, animals in captivity and in the wild are also affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Wildlife Friends Foundation founder Edwin Wiek locked himself inside a cage in order to raise funds for his wildlife rescue foundation. This was in response to the lack of tourism affecting captive animals’ wellbeing.

He spent a week in the cage

WiekCage cage
Image credit: Royal Coast Review

From 10-14th July, Animal activist and WFFT founder Edwin Wiek locked himself in a cage for a week to raise money for the WFFT in order to help zoos and sanctuaries keep their animals fed.

WiekCage Canoe
Canoe in his old cage
Image credit: Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

The cage once belonged to Canoe, a chimpanzee from Bangkok who had to live inside it for 32 years before being rescued. The chimpanzee has since found a new home with Wiek’s foundation.

According to the WFFT’s website, Wiek was only allowed 6 short bathroom breaks per day at no more than an hour total.

He did humiliating acts for donations

WiekCage Wiek
Wiek during a Facebook Live session on Monday

During his time in the cage, specific amounts of donations triggered certain actions such as making Wiek wear a dress for half a day ($500) or taking away his phone for 2 hours ($500). Donors were also able to donate $5,000 to throw away the key, and another $5,000 to buy Wiek bolt cutters.

WiekCage dress
Wiek wore a traditional Thai-style dress and wig for only an hour since it was too hot

Other actions included being poked with a bamboo stick ($300) and blasting noise at the cage for 15 minutes ($200) to echo Canoe’s experience during his time in the same cage.

Wiek’s goal was to raise ฿777,568 ($25,000) in donations, which were then donated to his foundation to help his cause. His stunt raised $23,861 by 13th July, reported Khaosod, and he was out by the next afternoon. Wiek hopes to continue his campaign with the money and encourage people to think of animals in need.

Help save the animals

Although zoos started reopening last month and visitors are slowly coming back, Wiek mentioned others that are closing down as a result of lacking tourism. Animals are at risk of not only starvation but losing their adopted habitat.

We hope animals will be able to get through the crisis as we hope for ourselves. You can help donate to Wiek’s foundation here.

You can tune in to Wiek’s streams here.

For more animal-related articles:

Enjoying The Smart Local Thailand? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for all things Thailand