Providing Information for a Lifetime of Care
Nonhuman Primate Help:
Monkey Fact: Baby monkeys are very adorable and fascinating. They also require constant care and supervision. They must be fed every 2-3 hours. In the wild, they can spend up to 2 years clinging to their mother so they will need to be carried by you everywhere you go.
Monkey Fact: Medical care for a monkey is costly. You will need to find a veterinarian who is willing to treat monkeys. Primate vets are hard to find. Many people have to drive hundreds of miles to obtain the most routine medical care. Monkeys are very susceptible to human diseases (colds, viruses, the flu, etc.), so you need to locate a veterinarian BEFORE you purchase your monkey!
Monkey Fact: Monkeys are messy. You MUST watch your monkey every second it's free of it's cage. They can turn on faucets, unscrew light bulbs, open bottles of nail polish, break your lamps and shred your curtains. All toxic substances and medicines MUST be kept locked up because they can open cupboards, jars and bottles in a seconds.
Monkey Fact: Monkeys can live up to 45 years. They are social animals and need constant attention from YOU or another monkey to be happy. Where will your monkey go if something happens to you? What if you should be transferred to another state that doesn't permit keeping a primate? You have to think ahead and prepare. Not many people want an adult monkey.
Monkey Fact: The monkeys you see on television or out in public are very young, because after puberty, monkeys can become aggressive. They can throw temper tantrums just like children. A monkey is like caring for a 2 year old human child for the rest of your life.
Monkey Fact: All animals bite and monkeys are no different. It is important that caretakers learn to read their monkey's body language and learn proper handling techniques. An adult monkey is also much stronger in relation to size ratio than a human, pound for pound, especially when it becomes angry or upset.
Monkey Fact: Monkeys don't adapt well to new situations - especially the addition of children. It's not wise to have young children living with a monkey. Monkeys as adults tend to try to take dominance over children. If you truly want a monkey, it is best to wait until your children are in their teens or older before you purchase a monkey.
Monkey Fact: You may not be able to take vacations when you own a monkey. If a monkey is left alone each day, even for just a few hours, it can suffer psychologically. If you need a break, you will have to find a monkey sitter, and not just anybody. It has to be someone the monkey has come to know and trust. They will be responsible for feeding, cleaning and providing hours of companionship for your monkey while you are gone.
Monkey Fact: Monkeys are expensive, in the thousands of dollars. If you find one cheap or for free, it may be older and have behavioral problems. They require special cages... LARGE cages. The minimum cage size is 6' x 6' x 6'. You'll also need to purchase climbing and enrichment toys to help keep them from being bored.
Monkey Fact: Monkeys need a proper diet or they can develop diabetes, rickets and other ailments. A monkey's basic care can cost you anywhere from $8 and up per day. A bag of monkey chow has to be special ordered and can cost up to $50 per bag with shipping.
Monkey Fact: You will need to find out if it is legal to own a monkey in your area. Some states, counties and cities require special licenses to own a monkey or it may be seized. Don't wait until after you have a monkey to learn if it's against the law. Contact the appropriate regulatory agency in your area (e.g. fish and game commission, health department, animal control, state vet) beforehand.
Monkey Fact: Keeping a monkey happy and healthy in captivity is expensive, time-consuming and takes total dedication. Research before purchasing one; do an Internet search under primates and you will find websites listing the pros and cons for owning a primate, read both sides before making your decision. Join the Simian Society and meet with private owners. If you still want to be around monkeys but know you can't give a monkey the time, care and enclosure it needs, volunteer at your local zoo or a sanctuary.
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