When it comes to exotic pets, one of the most sought animals is the monkey. At first, you might think they are cute and cuddly, especially seeing celebrities like Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson bring them around. But beware! Monkeys are not easy to take care of, like domesticated pets.
Once monkeys grow up, they become difficult to maintain, especially as they can be intelligent and strong enough to get into trouble. When monkeys get to puberty – yes, just like humans – their behavior will suddenly change.
So if you are not a trained professional, here are some things you can expect when you have a pet monkey.
Challenges of Owning A Pet Monkey
Monkeys are expensive to purchase, typically between $7000 and $8000. And when you finally own one, it will cost you about $50,000 to $60,000 throughout its lifetime since their diet can vary, and they’ll need plenty of space to play around. Besides that, here are some challenges you’ll encounter when you have a pet monkey.
Monkeys are not too fond of people other than their owners. And as said, they can be aggressive, so they might bite or smack you or have unpredictable behavior. Not allowing them to live in their natural habitat or with other monkeys (since they are social animals) can also make them aggressive.
True, you can tame monkeys. But they are still wild animals. And there may be a situation when their wild instincts may come in.
Care When You’re Away
You cannot just kennel your monkey like a dog when you are away for vacation. Monkeys need a companion to play with, or they’ll develop behavioral and neurological problems. And these problems can worsen as your monkey gets older.
Difficult to Train
Although they are more intelligent, they are not like dogs that can focus on working with you. So training them can be difficult, especially if you are not a skilled trainer.
Finding a Veterinarian
Typically, most veterinarians will only handle a domesticated animal. So if your monkey encounters health problems, you’ll need to find a veterinarian who deals with exotic pets.
No matter how well you train your monkey, their messy and destructive behavior will not disappear, especially when there is little to no maintenance in their enclosure. If something is out of place, you can expect them to throw it around.
The Types of Monkeys You Can Buy
Some monkeys may be more popular than others. But the most frequently bought ones are:
- Marmosets – These monkeys are very small (only weighing about 5 ounces), which is why they are also known as pocket or finger monkeys.
- Tamarins – When fully grown, tamarins will only weigh around 1 ounce. And although their appearance is striking, they can be aggressive.
- Spider monkeys – These monkeys are from South America and are very social. So you’ll need them to have a monkey companion when you leave the house. They may be cute and small but are prone to behavioral issues.
- Capuchins – You’ll find these nocturnal monkeys in South and Central America. They are highly intelligent but have aggressive behavior.
- Squirrel Monkeys – These monkeys can be a handful because they love to swing and climb around because of their natural behavior. But you’ll need to put a diaper on them if you don’t want a messy house.
If you want a monkey as your pet, check out this article on where it is legal to own a monkey. But proceed with caution and research as much as possible to ensure that you and your monkey will have a good relationship.