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So You Think You Want A Monkey?


If you are thinking that you want a monkey as a pet, this page was written for you. The ever-growing exotic animal trade has expanded to include many different species of primates as well as big cats and other wild animals. People who purchase these animals thinking that they are going to make a wonderful addition to the household are in for a rude awakening. Peaceable Primate Sanctuary does not endorse the keeping of any wild animal as a pet. We will try to outline the many reasons here. This is not a complete list but should be used in conjunction with other materials. Taking any animal into your household is a serious commitment and should not be taken lightly. There are many sites that have primate information and we encourage you to do as much research as possible. By coming to this site, you have taken the first step in making an educated choice.


Scott D. Kubisch

President/Founder
Peaceable Primate Sanctuary

Are you really ready to turn your home over to a monkey?

Never forget that a monkey is a wild animal. Depriving a monkey of a normal relationship with animals of his or her own species will only lead to a life of neurotic behavior. Monkeys need almost constant stimulation to keep them healthy. Ask yourself if you are ready to have an animal that can destroy your house and everything in it. A monkey cannot be taught to respect your belongings. They have not been domesticated for centuries to be gentle and easily trained by humans like a dog or cat. If you cannot stand the thought of cleaning up urine and feces 365 days a year, you should not get a monkey.

What will happen when he/she is no longer a cute little infant?

Once a monkey reaches sexual maturity you will begin to see their individual personality. What once was your baby is now a full-grown adult that has no hesitation to attack its caregiver and to engage in normal primate behavior such as aggressive acts, genital displays, masturbation, and copulation. If you choose to give your beloved pet up, where will he or she go? Zoos are always getting calls from people that want to donate their animals. Zoos almost never take ex-pets for exhibit animals for the following reasons: 1) Animals that are kept as pets haven't learned to socialize with the members of their own species 2) It is a long and difficult process for a zoo to introduce a monkey to an established group, especially one that hasn't learned the rules of primate society 3) Zoos do not have unlimited space and can only house a certain number of animals.

Care and feeding and setting up your monkey trust fund

$50,000 to $60,000 will be needed to take care of one monkey for his or her life, but you must also include money to build an indoor as well as an outdoor enclosure. Monkeys can live for up to 30 or 40 years; are you prepared for this type of life-long commitment? Primates need a very balanced and diversified diet, which includes a type of primate chow and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Finding a vet that treats primates can be a long and frustrating process since many of them will not take primates as patients or are uninformed on how to treat them.

Your monkey gave you what?

Hepatitis, herpes, measles, rabies, and much more. These are all known as zoonotic diseases or diseases that can be transmitted to humans from animals. The most serious of these is the Herpes B virus, which is a natural disease in different species of macaque monkeys. Herpes B causes little harm to monkeys but has a 100% mortality rate in humans that develop the clinical disease. Measles are the most frequently reported viral disease of non-human primates. Upon infection, the primate sheds the virus and can reinfect humans. For more information about many other zoonotic diseases we encourage you to contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Are you breaking the law?

For all the reasons listed above, keeping nonhuman primates as pets is illegal in many parts of the country. State, county and city laws often restrict the keeping of dangerous and exotic pets. In some areas, expensive licenses must be obtained.

This is a very condensed version of much information. We encourage you to research this further and talk to as many people as possible. Taking a primate into your household not only affects you, it affects another being that cannot tell you in words if the situation is right.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/

Go to search area and type in the word Zoonotic (404) 639-8108