Finger monkeys make good pets

Monkey as a pet

Exotic pets

December 28, 2020.

Monkeys don't belong in the living room!

Did Justin Bieber's capuchin monkey, Michael Jackson's chimpanzee or Chris Brown's monkey inspire so many people to buy a very special accessory for their home? And now also Prince Marcus von Anhalt, a previously convicted brothel owner and adopted nobleman, who gives himself and his daughter a two-month-old baby monkey for Christmas 2020 ... Guinea pigs are out, the monkey as a pet is in! Influenced by celebrities and internet movies, some people think of their new pet as well-trained cuddly monkeys. Chimpanzees, squirrel monkeys and the like as the main animal characters in film, TV and advertising also lead us to believe that they are ideal pets - a misconception!

Monkey as a pet: not a good idea

Monkeys are and will remain wild animals

The little baby monkeys look sweet, harmless and cute, almost like little hairy people. As our closest relatives, monkeys are very similar to us in appearance and behavior. No wonder that young animals in particular are quickly taken to the heart. In the zoo, too, primates are one of the most popular visitors. Many a monkey fan would therefore like to have one at home themselves. But monkeys are not suitable as pets. Little monkey babies are still cute and dependent. The older they get, however, the more problematic dealing with the wild housemates becomes. In contrast to dogs and cats, wild animals such as monkeys have not been adapted to a life with us humans for millennia. At the latest during puberty, the cute little monkey babies turn into dangerous, aggressive contemporaries. They will never be house trained ...

A monkey is kept as a pet

Sociable animals suffer in captivity

Almost all species of monkeys show complex social behavior because they live together in large groups in nature. For private keeping, the baby monkeys are often torn away from their mother immediately after birth in order to get them used to humans. Bottle-fed and held alone or in pairs, however, it is hardly surprising that many of them suffer from behavioral disorders and sometimes become depressed. Because a human can never replace the monkey with a fellow. The monkey as a pet always means great suffering for the mothers and their babies.

Capuchin monkeys are popular pets

Monkey as a pet is not appropriate to the species

After a very short time, many owners regret their desire for wilderness in their living room: the monkey is too big, too aggressive, too loud or makes too much dirt. Many buyers also underestimate the immense cost of reasonably adequate accommodation. Since monkeys never have to be kept alone but in a group, the space requirements are immense. Group conflicts quickly arise due to cramped enclosures. For animals, arguments can be fatalbecause they cannot avoid each other sufficiently. The high space requirements and species-appropriate equipment cannot be realized by private owners. In nature, monkeys cover great distances every day, and the little ones in particular use every opportunity to jump, climb and romp around. Nothing is safe from the playful, curious little fellows. In the apartment they break the furnishings and pee and poop everywhere. Monkeys leave behind permanently damaged furniture and sometimes bite hard. Depending on the type of monkey, this can even be life-threatening, as many wounds become infected. Attacks can also be fatal in barbary apes, mandrills and all great apes.

Barbary macaques can be dangerous

Dangerous trend exotic animals in the apartment

In the USA, the trend towards exotic "pets" has been common for many years. Great apes are particularly popular in Asia. They are kept private but are also trained for circus shows and tourist attractions showing off tricks and tricks. In 2017, the year of the monkey, trade continued to grow rapidly, as many Asians have recently wanted one of these small marmoset monkeys, initially no more than a finger. These cost just 125 euros online. In the meantime, the trade in exotic species is booming in Europe too, and more and more wild animals are finding their way into German living rooms. Dogs and cats were yesterday. Today, the more special and rare, the more impressive the pet. Exotics have become a status symbol. No wonder, because even the rarest animal can now be ordered within a few clicks of the mouse and delivered to your front door with the necessary change. The "minimum requirements for the keeping of mammals" specified by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture are only checked sporadically, if at all, in practice. Many of the protected animals are not even reported to the authorities. And if they do, then the minimum requirements for controls are not even legally binding, but only a recommendation, so that it is at the discretion of the official veterinarian whether and when to take action ...

Common marmosets are popular with private owners

Keeping exotic species endangers wild populations

Although primates are protected by the Washington Convention and many species of monkeys are bred in captivity, animals are still illegally declared as offspring and smuggled abroad. Wildlife trade is one of the most lucrative businesses on the black market. More than 2,400 monkeys from 54 species were offered on the two largest German internet platforms between 2010 and 2014 alone. They are therefore one of the most widely traded mammalian species. The top sellers were common marmosets, tinsel monkeys, golden-headed lion tamarins, pygmy marmosets and ring-tailed lemurs. Protected species such as slow loris and great apes are also available for purchase online. And that's just the market in Germany - demand in other countries is still on top. So it is no wonder that illegal and unsustainable trade and the destruction of their habitat threaten many species of monkeys. The consequences of poaching are particularly devastating for primates, who often produce only a few offspring in their life and look after them for a comparatively long time. And all of this just for the extravagant trend of wanting to bring the wilderness into your living room against all odds. The monkey as a pet is an absolute no go!

Slow lorikeet © IAR

Monkeys (and many other exotic species) do not belong in the living room! Pro Wildlife calls for stricter laws and controls in keeping exotic species and a general ban on wild animals. A positive list, as it already exists in Belgium and the Netherlands, would also be the best way in Germany to limit the trade and keeping of wild animals to species that are harmless to species and animal protection. Pro Wildlife also documents the extent and consequences of the trade in exotic animals and has already brought about trade bans and restrictions for dozens of species whose populations are threatened by the pet trade.


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Exotic pets


Monkeys are our closest relatives - only 1.7 percent of our genes distinguish us humans from chimpanzees.

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