Why Are Monkeys Bad Pets?


Monkeys and apes are our closest surviving cousins in the animal kingdom, and their facial characteristics are strikingly similar to those of humans. As a result, many people buy young monkeys/apes in the mistaken belief that these primates would be a good “substitute” or “surrogate” for human offspring.

Others are bombarded with pictures of nonhuman primates in ads, television, and films that portray newborn and adolescent monkeys as “cute and cuddly.” Naive viewers are often given the notion that nonhuman monkeys would make excellent ‘pets.’

These people are, at best, misinformed. When a previously dependent young monkey/ape achieves sexual maturity, there may be disastrous results (for all affected primates, human and nonhuman).

If you are thinking of obtaining a monkey and keeping it as a pet, please read the pet monkey horror stories on this website and learn to understand why this can be a terrible idea for all primates (human and nonhuman).

Nonhuman primates pose safety and health risks to their possessors and any person coming into contact with them.

  • Nonhuman primates are infamous for having lethal and infectious illnesses including TB, hepatitis, and Simian Herpes B.
  • The risks are significantly larger for the average individual, who is presumably unaware of illness pathophysiology.
  • Most private sector primate owners lack the expertise, passion, and drive required to keep their ‘pet’ disease-free.

Bites from nonhuman primates can cause severe lacerations. 

Wounds may develop infected and spread to the bone, causing irreversible deformity.

Nonhuman primates have never been domesticated. Adult monkeys and apes are aggressive and bite and scratch instinctively.

Many documented monkey bites have resulted in significant harm to the animal’s owner, a neighbor, or a stranger on the street.

It is believed that at least 10 monkey bites go unreported for every documented bite.

Children are especially vulnerable to being attacked since monkeys and apes are naturally inclined to establish dominance hierarchies.

This nine-year-old child from Montgomery County, Texas, was playing in his yard when he was assaulted by a neighbor’s ‘pet’ macaque monkey.

“The monkey began leaping,” the youngster recounts of the assault. He grabbed this arm, then leaped to it and began tugging, and he went back and forth to a leg and both my arms as if he was taking turns on both of them.”

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