Monkey Forest Tales: Why monkeys are NOT good pets?

Unamas Agosto 2011 152 (2)

In the last post, we talk about one of the problems caused by human’s fascination with monkeys, feeding wild monkeys. Today post we are going to talk about the other problem that fascination had caused to monkeys, the illegal pet trade.

When we talk about illegal pet trade we are talking about selling monkeys as pets. You will probably don’t see a problem with that as we also have other animals as pets. But behind the problem of one monkey keep as a pet is all the others that had been killed to catch the one you have.

Monkeys are social animals that live in groups. Usually, the animals ending as pets are the smaller ones, the babies. This means that for you to get that baby you see so cute, the people who sell it to you or the people who give it to them had to kill at least the mother, and usually other members of their group who try to defend the mother and her baby.

Additionally, because monkeys are as dependent on their mothers as we are, if the monkey is too small, it’s possible that the baby didn’t survive the transport and time since her/his mom was killed and the time when you get him/her. So, for each animal that you buy, there are several individuals that were killed so you get a cute monkey pet.

The other problem with having monkeys as pets is that they grow up, and when they do it, they became less cute, sometimes more aggressive and more complicated to handle. Some of them even have some behavioral or psychological problems caused by their isolation.

Similar to what happened, when a child grows up isolated without any other kids to play with and with limited contact with other humans. Monkeys growing up didn’t develop all the social skills they learn from their mothers and other members of their groups. This affects them and exacerbates some behaviors that in the social context they use to relate with other individuals in their groups.

So, if you think a baby monkey is cute and you have the impulse to buy one, please don’t. Don’t promote this kind of commerce. It’s better if you adopt a cat or a dog from a shelter or you can search for adoption programs in zoos where for a donation you can help maintain zoo animals and they will share their histories with you. Or if you prefer you can support people working with your favorite primate.

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