Most people buy monkeys of 3-4 months old or younger.
The appearance of an infant can be quite deceiving. Infant monkeys differ greatly in
behavior and appearance from mature monkeys.
The Six Most Common Reasons People Buy Pet
"They're so cute!!" (I love the way they look!!)
"They're so cool!!" (Different), (Attention Getting)
"I wanted an unusual pet." (Wanted an unusual pet for the kids)
"They're so adorable dressed up like people!"
"I've always wanted a monkey!" (Wanted to know what it would be like)
"They have to be the most special pet you can get.
Most Common Reasons People Give Up Pet Monkeys:
An incident involving one or more
of the behaviors below:
A serious bite or other aggressive behavior
-- usually toward a child or other family member, sometimes a friend or stranger.
Monkey is "disobedient", won't mind,
gets into things or tears off diapers or clothes.
Monkey has gotten loose and caused household
Interference with family unity
-- monkey likes some family members and dislikes/attacks others.
Messiness-with food, droppings, cage mess or
while loose in the house
Other "problem behavior."
-- such as loud vocalizations, urine scenting, male erections, male or female
A legal case involving a bite or scratch or
Other Common Reasons:
Not enough time to spend with monkey--to busy to
take care of.
Not enough space to house monkey.
Monkey is illegal
One or more family members dislike the monkey
The family is moving
Few Thoughts About Displaced Monkeys
about what a monkey is before you get one so that you will not be disappointed later. If
you want a monkey as a novelty item, an attention getter or a cross between a doll and a
child, you may be very happy with an infant--but not with a growing or full-grown, monkey.
monkeys are different than dogs and cats in that they do not retain "tameness"
or "docility", without a continued significant investment of time. Even with an
investment of time, monkeys naturally progress to behaviors of adolescence and maturity
that make them less compatible with most humans and their human households.
skills required for successfully working with the behavior of a growing monkey are close
to the skills of a professional animal trainer or animal behaviorist. In short, offering a
fair, fulfilling life to a monkey is much more difficult, truly, than anyone can first
As they grow
into adolescents, all monkeys are less manageable in terms of human expectations, harder
to control as "pets". At this time, if the owner cannot begin to make
appropriate compromises, monkeys are then sold to new owners.
that children who are passed from unfamiliar home to home suffer psychological trauma
which is permanently damaging. Also, moving is a major stressor for people and animals
become "second hand monkeys" suffer greatly when they are sold and resold:
Extreme psychological distress, often internalized--plus despondency, detachment, severe
depression, aggressive behaviors, self aberrant or mutilating behaviors can be the long or
short term emotional result for monkeys who are bounced from home to home.
A Call For Higher Standards
Honesty from Breeders, Dealers, and Brokers: Let the new monkey owner know what they
are getting into, the complex caretaking skills required, the cost of proper cage setups,
diet and vet care, zoonotic disease, licensing information and public health concerns. Ask
to see a photograph of proper sized housing in which the monkey you are selling will live.
Accountability In New Monkey Owners: Make an educated choice. Learn as much as you can
about the care of monkeys before you buy. Have the proper sized housing setups from day
one, that is, build the proper cage before you buy the monkey. Also have veterinary care
lined up, provisions for social companionship, knowledge of health and diet, toys and
other enrichment and a fund budgeted aside for possible extra monkey costs. Make sure you
understand permit requirements and public health concerns.
Commitment In New and Old Monkey Caretakers: Stay committed to ongoing, supportive
education, to upgrade housing, vet care, enrichment, social or other conditions when
necessary. Stay up-to-date on legislation and public health concerns.
here to read about The Monkey Underworld
So Now You Know--
You have the message. Maybe you are wondering how or why anyone would want a monkey.
Regardless of the pitfalls, some people remain steadfast in their special love and
commitment to the nonhuman primates. Some people are very talented in understanding
monkeys and their behavior, enjoy working with them and may even love them more than their
human counterparts. If after reviewing all this information, you believe you can join the
ranks of the dedicated, please read on.
Rate yourself as a caretaker.
© 1996 Monkey Matters
If you would like more information, or have questions about the article, you can contact
Monkey Matters Magazine at firstname.lastname@example.org