How do you acquire a pet monkey?
I live in Virginia, US and I was wondering... is it legal to own a monkey? And whether it is where can I get one? I would like a little one Capuchin. Maybe a Tufted Capuchin or a Weeper Capuchin.
Oh and the internet is full of scams offering monkeys from Cameroon. Pay them and you will never see anything but the monkey you have made out of yourself.
I should warn you though that monkeys do not variety good pets. They are wild animals and have not be domesticated over centuries the way that cats and dogs have. You never know when a monkey is going to turn on you and go ballistic. It's happen before, and it can happen again. If you still insist on owning a monkey, please find out as much information you can, and talk to as masses experts you can find. Owning a monkey is something you need to be WELL prepared for.
read this knit, he talks about owning a monkey
1. As several other people have mentioned, they have not undergone thousands of years of domestication as most pet animals enjoy, so they are poorly suited to being pets.
2. It is dangerous for YOU. Monkeys are very unpredictable. As primates, they use oodles of the same gestures/expressions to communicate as we do, however they may mean something completely different. For example grinning at a monkey is a sign of aggression, and can lead to the monkey anyone physically aggressive back.
3. A 'baby' monkey will grow up! It is incredibly short-sighted to say you want a 'baby' Capuchin. And as they get elder they becoming increasingly destructive and become complete home-wreckers, may attack visitors, and ultimately become unsuitable for person kept in the house. For this reason many pet monkeys ending up living out their days locked in sheds, garages or small outdoor cages, which is horribly cruel for such an intelligent animal.
4. Many (if not most) young monkeys available as pets are wild-caught monkeys. To arrest wild monkeys, people go out into the forest and shoot complete troops of adults in the hopes that one of the dead females that drops to the ground will have a kid clinging to her that will survive the fall. For Capuchins at least, around ten adults die for every baby capture. And most of the babies captured never even make it. Some are too young to outlive, and MANY die in transit from being squished into bags, boxes and luggage carrier in an attempt to smuggle them past customs and hide them during long flights. I don't deliberate I need to point out that all of this is horribly cruel and uneccessary, but YOU as a buyer are paying for and promoting this.
5. Humans do NOT make right monkey owners. Monkeys are highly sociable animals. Their entire lives revolve around complex social groups in the wild. They require fixed stimulation, vast amounts of exercise and communication with their own kind. Pet homes cannot provide this.
6. Pet Capuchins normally suffer hideous health complaints. If you're wondering where my knowledge comes from, I enjoy worked in a sanctuary that rescues ex-pet Capuchins and Woolly monkeys and rehabilitates them into the best enclosures that captivity can provide them with, as economically as seeking to educate the public on the truth about the monkey pet trade. One of the monkeys I was lucky plenty to meet was a young Capuchin manly named Joey. Capuchin monkeys require high levels of vitamins that they find in the wild from being constantly exposed to the bright South American sunlight. Being kept inside a house contained by a less sunny country does not provide this. As a result of this lack of sunlight Joey has grown up greatly deformed. He has never grown adult teeth, his hips are dislocated and his cheeks sunken because his bones never grew properly, his spine is twisted and he cannot walk or climb properly close to a normal monkey. This was simply due to the lack of proper vitamins, exercise, diet and carefulness. Other monkeys at the sanctuary had behaviour problems, often biting and chewing at their limb, pacing, head twisting, and exhibiting other sort of what is known as 'stereotypical behaviour' – irregular behaviours typically shown by very distressed monkeys.
Monkeys are very complex animals and should not EVER be kept as pets because someone thinks they are 'cool' or 'cute' or 'strange pets'. I would urge you to please change your mind about this. Having see first-hand what usually ends up happening to pet monkeys, I think it would be irresponsible and cruel of you to try and buy one as a pet, regardless of what the imperative of Virginia are. If you really love monkeys you'll leave them where they belong. If you're still unconvinced please find out more. This is the place I have worked and see this stuff for myself:
EDIT: Also please do not take this as an accusation. I am sure your intention would be to find out as much as possible and to treat the monkey surrounded by the best way you could. However many of the monkeys I worked with be also from 'loving' homes; people were not intentionally cruel to them, but they did not and could not understand the complex physical and psychological requirements of the monkey they owned. The people running this sanctuary have spent all the lots years since it opened learning about how to properly concern for these monkeys, calling upon the help of experts from all over the world; and even they feel they are sometimes falling short. It is not that I don't presume you'd try hard to provide for a monkey. But you could not look after one properly.
YOU CAN'T GET A PET MONKEY THEY ARE WILD AND IT IS ILLEGAL TO IF YOU WANT ONE YOU HAVE TO HAVE A LICENSES TO GET A PET MONKEY I DON'T THINK YOU CAN GET A MONKEY!