Risks & Regulations of Adopting a Primate as a Pet in the US

You are probably curious about where you can buy a baby monkey or find one to adopt now that you have become familiar with the various exotic monkey breeds that are available for purchase.

However, you should be aware that the process of purchasing a primate as a pet can be risky for you as well.

If, despite all the warnings and research, you are still hellbent on purchasing or adopting a monkey or ape (or are just plain foolish), your legal options MIGHT be limited.

The keeping or adoption of primates as pets is prohibited in thirty states across the United States at the present time. There are specialized exception clauses for nine of these. There are thirteen additional states that demand an exotic pet permit. The remaining seven states all have some form of primate regulation, but none of them specifically address primates kept as pets. Before you even think about making a purchase, check that you are of legal age. The illegal sale, purchase, or keeping of primates carries the risk of incarceration as well as hefty fines.

Dealing with breeders is something that almost all trustworthy primate caregivers and people working in the industry will strongly advise you to avoid doing. Breeders that supply primates are, for the most part, highly unregulated and their primary goal is to make a profit off of the sale of the animals they produce. Since 1975, it has been against the law to bring primates into the country; therefore, breeders are required to use the existing stock of monkeys.

At the time of birth, the infant is frequently removed from their mothers. Monkeys are one of the few animals that can enjoy the benefits of maternal nurturing for a long period of time in the wild (similar to humans! – Imagine that you were separated from your mother just a short time after you were born. These bred monkeys are deprived of the opportunity to have a mother who cares for them, which leads to poor behavior and sometimes even self-injury and aggression.

Education provided by breeders to prospective buyers is frequently inadequate and occasionally does not even exist. Primate care is significantly more complicated than the care of other types of pets.

When it comes to properly tending to the requirements of a new primate pet, education provided by breeders to the buyer is typically scant to nonexistent. One of the largest brokers of pet monkeys in the eastern United States, as explained by a veterinarian named Thomas J. Blair in an article published in 2005, “One of the largest brokers of pet monkeys in the eastern United States advertises on its web site that its employees spend up to two hours with new monkey owners educating them about everything they need to know about monkeys.” My eleven years of experience in the field of exotic pet practice were gained through education at the Cincinnati Zoo. I can say with absolute certainty that two hours is just about the bare minimum amount of time needed to come to the conclusion that you will never know everything there is to know about monkeys.

I strongly encourage you to search for primate sanctuaries and rescue operations such as the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance if you are still considering adopting a monkey, primate, or ape. If you do not want to support practices that are harmful to animals and are willing to learn about the complicated long-term care that these amazing animals require, you will find that there are many options available to you (NAPSA). Primate Rescue Center, a NAPSA member organization, is one of these charitable organizations that provides care for primates for their entire lives. Many of these primates were rescued from deplorable situations in which they were kept as pets. Primate sanctuaries are pleading for your assistance. The number of animals in need of care at sanctuaries continues to rise year after year due to the fact that more and more pet owners are finding themselves unable to provide the level of attention and care that their animals require. Either these pet owners did not heed warnings such as those in this article, or they foolishly believed they could beat the odds. In the end, not only they but also their pets suffered as a direct consequence of the decision.

Do not give money to primate breeders, and do not purchase pets from people who are selling them illegally.

   😍 These are must-have items such as small animal cages, cage accessory and food for Finger Monkey pet owners, maybe you need them too? Click images & check them out!

 🥰 This large double unit cage has three ramps, ramp covers, and two resting shelves. It is easier to clean the cage interior with removable base pans and double doors. Click the link to see different story options for your pet.

🥰 For the finger monkey diet, you can feed them these fresh unsalted cashews. As much as I enjoy these good-quality cashews, my finger monkey pet does too. Check out if your pet will like it too.

🥰 These cage accessories go with the large double unit cage! They are shelf, pan and ramp covers that are easily removable and washable in the machine. Click the link to check their color options.

 🥰 This dried sweet tamarind is convenient as it comes without the shell and seed. It is also natural and fresh! Check out the reviews to see if you want to feed your finger monkey this fruit rich in magnesium and calcium.

 🥰 This small animal playpen is perfect for your finger monkey pet to be closer to nature. It has space to put treats, litter box and more. Click to see the video.


🥰 This Maize Flakes Cereal is organic and healthy with ingredients from sprouted oatmeal, which is high in protein. This is perfect for your finger monkey’s diet! Click the link to see other cereal options.

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