We popularly use the term "monkey " to refer to more than 250 species of non-human primates (apes). Among the best known, we find chimpanzees, gorillas, marmosets and orangutans. The exotic beauty of these species and their physical and behavioral similarities to humans make many people want to adopt a monkey as a pet and raise it in captivity. However, most do not know the risks of this practice…
¿Wondering if it is a good idea to have a monkey as a pet? Monkeys are wild animals that are adapted to living in nature, where they find optimal conditions for their physical, cognitive, emotional and social development. In addition, captive breeding of some species of monkeys is legally prohibited in many countries to combat exotic pet trafficking.
¿You can have a monkey as a pet? In this new AnimalWised article, we explain why you should never have a monkey as a pet, read on.You may also be interested in: The marmoset monkey as a pet Index
- Is it legal to have a monkey as a pet?
- Keeping a monkey as a pet carries health risks
- Monkey breeding in captivity and its effects on behavior
- The care of monkeys, specific and complex
- Can you have a monkey as a pet then?
Is it legal to have a monkey as a pet?
Today, monkeys are found protected by the CITES convention (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), a convention created by the UN to regulate trade and combat illegal trafficking of animals. However, each country may have its own legislation regarding the domestic rearing of exotic or invasive species..
In countries like Chile, keeping a monkey as a pet is illegal and owners can face severe financial penalties. However, in Spain, it is possible to adopt a monkey, but the legal origin of the animal must be proven with the corresponding documentation.
Obviously, adopting a monkey of unknown origin, either through individuals or on the Internet, is not recommended in any country. Most of these animals are hunted, suddenly removed from their habitat and community, and imprisoned in pitiful conditions until they are resold on the black market of animal trafficking. In addition, by adopting a monkey with unknown origins, we indirectly contribute to encourage animal trafficking.
¿Why is keeping a monkey as a pet illegal in many places? Basically, for protect the monkeys themselves from abusive practices that are frequent in the black market for the sale of wild animals, as well as the mistreatment, inappropriate care and abandonment that they tend to suffer when adopted by people who do not know the specific needs of monkeys.
Common sense and logic should complement the "loopholes" or the lack of specific legislation on the keeping of exotic animals. That is to say: although it is allowed, for example, to have a marmoset as a pet in some countries, before adopting this animal, we should be aware of its needs and our limitations in order to provide it with the optimal conditions for its development. Every animal, regardless of its species, deserves to experience a dignified, happy and healthy life. And your rights should never be threatened by our wishes.
Keeping a monkey as a pet carries health risks
Monkeys (mainly those of unknown origin) can transmit certain zoonotic diseases, such as rabies, tuberculosis, herpes, hepatitis B and candidiasis, through bites or scratches. Zoonoses are those pathologies that can be transmitted between different species. In addition, some species of apes are vulnerable to developing allergies and skin infections, caused mainly by bacteria and fungi.
On the other hand, some common diseases for us can seriously affect the health of monkeys. Mainly if this animal does not receive a balanced diet and the necessary care to strengthen its immune system.
Monkey breeding in captivity and its effects on behavior
Monkeys are very active, intelligent, curious and sociable, therefore they need to constantly exercise their body and mind to maintain their good health. Even when guardians have plenty of space and offer outdoor environments, most of the monkeys adopted as pets end up developing symptoms of stress or boredom.
Like cats and dogs, monkeys often have certain behavior problems associated with the accumulation of tension and demonstrate a notable increase in their aggressiveness. In addition, since they need to interact to develop their social skills, monkeys born or raised in captivity can also become aggressive as adults, develop cordestructive behaviors by being locked up or alone at home for many hours and even stereotypes, Repetitive movements and constant with no apparent end.
The care of monkeys, specific and complex
¿Do you still think it is a good idea to have a monkey as a pet? You should be aware that these animals require very specific care to develop healthily in captivity.
First, the ideal would be recreate the natural habitat of each species to provide optimal conditions for physical and mental development. Zoos, for example, try to condition the monkey space with lots of trees, rocks, dirt, grass, etc. Now, imagine the difficulty of reproducing this wild environment in our home… And the truth is that, even if you have a lot of space and dedicate yourself to preparing it carefully, this entire structure will continue to be an artificial replica that will never fully capture the essence of nature..
Like all animals, monkeys will need a complete and balanced nutrition to maintain their good health and develop fully. In their natural habitat, apes tend to have a very varied, fresh and natural diet. This means that providing a good diet for a "domestic monkey " takes time, dedication and a good investment in fresh and organic produce. Apart from fruit and vegetables, which you must prepare carefully, you should also offer insects at certain times of the year.
Also, to have a monkey as a pet, you will need to pay close attention to its mental stimulation. Apes are highly sensitive and highly intelligent animals, which is why they need to work on their cognitive and emotional skills to stay healthy, happy and active. As we have mentioned, a sedentary or bored monkey can suffer from stress and develop numerous behavior problems. These animals should enjoy at least several enrichment sessions and games a day.
On the other hand, it will also be essential to meet their social needs by providing moments of interaction, entertainment and affection. And most of us do not have much time to devote even to our own social life ... For this reason, many monkeys created in captivity can present symptoms of depression and even become aggressive in relation to people and other animals. Remember that it is about very sociable individuals who live in large groups.
Nor should we forget that monkeys will need specialized medical care, that is not usually easily found in cities. It is also worth remembering that apes will also need to receive attention to their internal and external deworming to avoid an infestation by endo or ectoparasites..
Unfortunately, many people adopt a monkey as a pet without understanding its specific needs. And that is why many "domestic monkeys " they end up in zoos, when they are not abandoned somewhere far from the city.
Can you have a monkey as a pet then?
As you may have observed, there are many cares that monkeys need to lead a healthy, happy and dignified life. And this implies carrying out high investments throughout the life of the animal. If to all the care mentioned above, we also add the high costs for legally adopt to a monkey and document it, we are not wrong in saying that the monkey is a really expensive pet.
Taking into account all the aforementioned, it should be noted that it is not a good idea to have a monkey as a pet. In any case, if you consider that you could offer all the aforementioned care, do not hesitate to consult a specialist to explain in more detail everything you should assess and prepare before adopting a monkey as a pet.