Cute as monkeys are, buying one to keep as a pet should only be done after a lot of research. Not only should you be sure you are buying from a reputable breeder, you also need to familiarize yourself with the behaviour of monkeys and decide whether you are willing to care for one for its entire lifespan (in the range of 15 to 30 years). Follow these steps to make your monkey purchase a success.
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Things you need
- large cage
- monkey feed
Find out if you can legally keep a monkey where you live. Some areas will allow them, some require a permit, and some areas don't allow them at all.
Research the care and feeding of monkeys. You'll need a large cage (a cage for a parrot is not big enough), and will need to be heated and cooled if it's outside. You'll need to feed your monkey fresh fruits and vegetables, cooked meat and fish, grains, yoghurt and insects, in addition to commercial primate food. The variety in their diet -- and hiding their food to mimic the search for food they would do in the wild -- will help prevent boredom.
Know that monkeys can be destructive, particularly when bored. If you aren't going to be able to spend a lot of time with them, it's best to get them a companion monkey. They need constant supervision when out of their cages. Monkeys typically become more aggressive after they've hit puberty at around 5 years old, and males are more aggressive than females.
Realize that monkeys are expensive pets. Depending on the breed, a baby monkey can range from £2,000 to £20,000. Finding a vet who treats primates is sometimes a challenge, and veterinary care is expensive.
Visit someone who owns a monkey. Talk to them about life with a pet monkey, and where they purchased theirs. Ask them to tell you everything they can, the bad as well as the good. Read about the experiences of other monkey owners on the Internet before making a purchase.
Look for a reputable breeder. Obtain references from other people who've purchased monkeys from the breeder and contact them. Protect yourself from fraud by always picking up your monkey at the owners, and don't send cash or wire money.