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The monkeys are so cute! Can I hold one? Should I buy one? (Short answer = No)

Monkeys are wild animals and thus need to be treated with dignity and caution. We let the monkeys be monkeys by allowing them to communicate with each other and by providing them with plenty of foraging opportunities, a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables, food puzzles, and enriched indoor and outdoor environments. USDA licensing requires that the public stay at least three feet from an animal enclosure. To ensure maximum safety, we enforce a six-foot rule when hosting on-site events such as open houses and private tours.


Please do not buy a pet monkey! They look cute and cuddly online, but there are a number of reasons why they do not make good pets:


  • They can be aggressive and lash out at you or a stranger.
  • Finding veterinary care can be difficult because so many veterinarians are ethically opposed to keeping wild animals as pets.
  • While the exact number is unknown, the number of monkeys kept as pets reaches into the tens of thousands nationwide. Because so many pet monkeys are eventually surrendered to sanctuaries, there is little room left to accommodate monkeys from research facilities.
  • You are supporting an industry which involves weaning babies from their mothers at too early of an age only to “cling” onto the human buyer. Premature weaning is also factor that causes abnormal behavior later in life.
  • Once at sanctuary, pet monkeys are especially difficult to socialize with other monkeys because, often, humans have raised them from a very young age with no monkey companions.

For more information on why you should not buy a pet monkey, please read the book Monkeys Don’t Wear Diapers by Polly Schultz.