Baby monkeys are adorable, sweet and cuddly, looking at you with those big eyes. They are almost living dolls and your child might think it is a darling little playmate to dress, feed, change and carry around.
No matter how much she begs, your little one is better off with a different type of pet.
Owning a monkey is a long term commitment. They live 20 to 40 years, are very social animals and need constant social stimulation. They become attached to their caretakers and don’t like new people looking after them.
Don’t plan any vacations, get married or have a child because your monkey will be upset and develop psychological and behavior problems. Are you ready for a manic monkey?
Diseases can be a real problem. Some spread from monkeys to humans but also human diseases can devastate a monkey’s health.
Monkeys need a specialized diet. It is often expensive and time-consuming to prepare.
Monkeys are messy and mischievous. They get into things. They are worse than a toddler messing with your stuff.
We went through an African Safari one time and went through the monkey area. A monkey was running down the road with a windshield wiper in each hand. He looked like he was laughing.
They can’t be toilet trained but can wear diapers that you have to change regularly. I remember a woman at work regaling us with a tale about a monkey swinging on a chandelier and jumping from one curtain to another while pooping all over the house. It was an amusing tale but do you want to clean up after that?
Monkeys are wild animals and cannot truly be tamed even if they are wearing a dress and a diaper. “Once monkeys reach sexual maturity they can become dangerous,” said Veterinarian Kevin Wright, of the Phoenix Zoo.
Even a docile animal might turn on your suddenly and without warning. They also bite. We have all heard tales of the damage a monkey can inflict.
Pet monkeys are victims. According to the National Geographic, baby monkeys sold as pets are cruelly separated from the mother days after they are born.
They are given a stuffed animal or a rolled up blanket as a mother substitute. Monkeys are dependent on their mothers for several years. When separated, they don’t learn to be monkeys and develop aberrant behavior patterns.
When a family can no longer deal with a monkey, it will be hard to re-home. Zoos won’t take them and they often end up in research facilities or breeding programs.
For all these reasons, it is best for a child to learn about monkeys in zoos and educational programs and enjoy another kind of pet in the home.