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Should You Buy A Monkey?

1/26/2011

Many people are enchanted by their human characteristics, and indeed they have many such. They can be lovable, affectionate, dependent, energetic, enthusiastic and entertaining. However, they can also be despondent, morose, aggressive and down right dangerous. They often have quick tempers, can sulk and pout and hold grudges, be independent, insolent, indifferent to training and occasionally vindictive. Yes, they are very much like humans!

Present Federal Legislation makes the importation of Simians for the pet trade illegal, and the sale of simians in pet-shops without a federal permit also illegal. Only for research, zoos and breeding colonies will their importation and sale be sanctioned. Many States also have legislation passed and pending requiring permits, some costing $100.00 a year, to keep a monkey that you already own. These laws apply to many other exotic pets as well. So far private owners have not been forbidden to sell or put up for adoption a pet they presently own though it may come to that. Gibbons can not be transferred to new owners in some States now.

If you still can acquire a monkey somewhere legally be sure that you understand what you are getting into. Monkeys most available today are the:

  • Macaques: Rhesus, Stumptail, Pig-tail and Java.
  • Guenons: Mona and Vervet.
  • Spiders: Black, Variegated, Golden and Brown.
  • Capuchins: White-faced, White-fronted, Cinnamon, Weeper and Tufted or Black-capped.
  • Squirrel Monkeys: All sub-species similar, though size varies.
  • Marmosets: Common.

An occasional Mangaby or patas monkey might be up for sale or adoption. The males of these two species, as also the Stump-tail, Pig-tail and Rhesus macaques, can grow to weigh from Forty to Seventy pounds. This is a lot of monkey to keep as a pet! Most large monkeys must be kept behind bars when fully adult which is especially true of the males, who, because of hormones and the inborn need to establish dominance and to protect their territory companions, become aggressive, regardless of how much tender loving care they received when they were young. A monkey is and will always be a wild animal, and just because he has been brought into your home, he cannot negate the millions of years of evolution that have conditioned him.

You must be firm with a monkey always; don't let it ever think that you are afraid of it, but don't try whipping it as you might a dog. Don't play rough with it when it is young, as when it matures that play can turn into an attack Don't fight with each other seriously as in play or talk very loud close to it. It makes it nervous, defensive and may turn it against one of the family for life. Don't look it directly in the eye and hold it. In monkey language especially in the larger species this is a threat and you can't expect him to know you don't mean it as such.

It is important to consider your way of life before deciding to adopt a simian. It has been said only one person in 10,000 should have a monkey for a pet. If you can't stand to have your hair mussed, your magazines torn, dishes broken, ashtrays upset, lamps knocked over and draperies ripped, don't get a simian for a pet. If you have children think twice, because most monkeys become nervous over sudden noises and quick movements and may be frightened into biting a child. Some children who "have a way" with animals can win their confidence, and all will be well. Most monkeys can get along with dogs and cats if they are properly introduced. They are afraid of large birds but will often kill small ones, so consider your other pets before getting a monkey. Adopting a simian is a long range obligation for they require a great deal of care and companionship if they are to thrive. They may live up to 25 years (even to 40) although this is rare. On the other hand it is wonderful to have an enchanting Pet. which you love, live that long.

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