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YES, I HAVE MONKEYS!

4/7/2011

Yes, I have monkeys! I do NOT promote the ownership of Exotic’s! In the same token, I am NOT AGAINST ownership either if the person considering the FULL time job of ownership is willing to make the commitment! Having a primate is a FULL time job! It is no less work than having a 2-3 year old toddler that can bite! My monkeys are a HUGE commitment and I have changed my life to accommodate their needs. I work from home, so they can have the attention and care needed FULL TIME!

They are a huge expense with caging, vet care, and enrichment to make their lives full and happy. Monkeys are animals by nature that live by a ranking system and so should NEVER live in a home with small children. They will try to dominate and challenge to gain their rank in the family structure. They will try to dominate anything that is afraid of them as adults. There are MANY growing pains to go through in ownership of any animal, but many more with one so smart. I have had my monkeys for more than 10 years now and have taken on every challenge in their growing. Mine have become members of my family and are my HEART! Mine came into my family when my kids were already adult size, therefore able to handle the aggressive nature monkeys have. I know a number of people who have made the same commitment I have and give their primates wonderful lifetime homes. A monkey is a social animal and should never be kept alone, caged, and not paid attention to. They need to be on a daily schedule with much time each day given to their attention, with interaction just as a child in order for them to grow mentally and physically well.

A monkey should never be bought on a whim, they are extremely cute as babies, but it should be remembered they will grow up and have huge K-9s. It takes a very strong personality (Alpha type) to handle a monkey through all of its growing stages. All members in the family will not be considered Alpha, and are targets for aggression during the maturing of the monkey in finding its rank. Many monkeys at this stage are abused or given up; traumatizing the monkey for life having to give up the only family it has known. It is a learning experience to handle the monkey through these stages without hurting it or being hurt by the monkey.

That being said, I also want to add monkeys are not the diseased animals they are made out to be. Monkeys no longer can be brought into the country for many years now. All are bred in the US. All monkeys that are sold in the US are under USDA regulations and have been tested for TB and hepatitis as infants and adults.

If you do your research well you will see that there are no known cases other than LAB monkeys that have transmitted disease to any person in the US that have been bred here. All cases well researched prove the monkey has been infected by a person, not the other way around.

Monkeys are very clean by nature as they spend the majority of their day grooming. The other parts of their day are for forging and play.

As in raising a child, the more time and attention you commit to them, the better your relationship. I have found family members in mine, as well as best friends who bring much joy and laughter to my life each day. I feel very blessed to be a part of their lives and them a part of mine. They are my heart!

So do you want a monkey? Ask yourself do you have the time or does someone in your family have the time to commit full time care? Why you ask? Well they are like small children EVERYTHING goes in the mouth and they need to be supervised so they do not choke on something you have given them for play.  They are not like dogs or cats; they need interaction as a child does.  The less time you give them, the more aggressive they will become towards you.  Do you have the money to buy a large cage for their containment? Monkeys need large cages to be able to be monkeys.  They like to swing, jump, leap, climb, and play many hours of the day and confinement to a small cage is not acceptable.  Do you have the time and money for a second monkey? This is a question that will arise to give your monkey a playmate so you can have more you time.  Many owners do buy another monkey for the first monkey they have purchased, this is not for everyone, but is something that makes your monkey more happy being with his own kind.  Then there is Vet care, hope you have extra money there too.  Most Vets want at least 200.00 dollars just to look at the monkey or better, because most monkeys have to be put under to be examined to prevent the Vet from bites. There are many expenses involved in the ownership of a monkey.  Do your homework, check out the different kinds of monkeys, and then really sit down and ask yourself do you have time for a toddler 24/7 for up to 30 years.  Remember, this toddler cannot be babysat like a child.  This toddler generally will bite anybody it does not know who tries to handle it, making a sitter a hard find.  So then special caging is needed for those times you need to leave, so the monkey can be cleaned up after and fed with safety to the caregiver in your absence.  In other words vacations may be outdated, as well as getting out a lot since your monkey needs your attention pretty much 24/7.  This is a HUGE commitment! 

If you want to say Yes, I have a monkey!  Know you will be a person who has made a HUGE commitment. 

I say, Yes, I have monkeys, but know this; I have not been on a real vacation in 13 years.  I have gone through many growing pains and have the scars to prove it.  All monkeys BITE, whether it is saying no to you, or them just becoming an adult and wanting their own way.  I will say if you can get through each and every challenge owning a monkey presents, they are GREAT companions that express much love and attention back to their owner; and would die to protect their owner.  They become family in more ways than a dog or cat, since they have more human like qualities. It is a big decision, and if you understand how huge the commitment, it is a special bond.    

 
Written by:  Sherri Chambers  

 



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