Lately kitchen table conversation inevitably turns to how much the kids want a pet. They are older now and you are confident they have the maturity to be responsible for an animal. Discussions about puppies and kittens result in low moans and sighs. They want different; they want exotic. The kids want a monkey. You are admittedly intrigued by the idea; monkeys are so cute and cuddly, especially dressed in baby clothes and really unique pets.
- Skill level:
Know the legalities. Only nine states currently ban ownership of non-human primates, however many counties and municipalities have ordinances prohibiting owning monkeys. Take time to contact your local code and animal control authorities.
Locate the nearest primate rescue facility. Arrange to take the kids for a visit. Many monkeys who were once pets finish their lives in these facilities. A conversation with a professional primate keeper is an excellent way to introduce your family to the challenges inherent in monkey ownership. They can also recommend reliable medical care for you pet.
Count the cost. Owning a monkey is expensive. Food and veterinary visits alone can run thousands of dollars annually. Consider the time caring for a pet primate will take; unlike cats and dogs, monkeys requires constant care and companionship. Remember monkeys are wild animals; they can be aggressive, they often adore one family member and attack, and torment another. Monkeys are also wasteful, destructive and difficult to potty train. Be sure your family is tolerant and patient enough to adapt to a monkey’s needs; monkeys do not adjust to yours and 99 per cent of those held in private captivity suffer mental health disorders.
Investigate the farms and breeders you are considering buying your pet monkey. Ask a lot of questions. Know the circumstances of your potential pet’s birth; lineage and medical history are exceedingly important. Find out about the monkey’s current housing and socialisation. Request photos of the monkeys and their surroundings if you are unable to visit in person. Primates that are isolated or confined in cramped quarters are far more likely to be neurotic and aggressive.
Construct the monkey’s habitat. Remember they require a large space that allows them outside access and the ability to climb and swing. Purchase food and supplies for your monkey. Buy several toys. Monkeys are very intelligent creatures; they require a wide variety of constant stimulation to avoid boredom and depression.
Buy your pet monkey.
Tips and warnings
- Remember monkeys live 20 to 40 years; factor their lifespan in when determining your ability to make the time commitment.
- Primates carry diseases contractible by people through scratches and bites. Some of these illnesses, like hepatitis B, can be fatal.