Monkey Business

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Monkey Business…

I moved from New York with my parents. You will find many things that took some getting used to and that I wasn’t a fan of the warmth or bugs. Then there were things that helped me endure any downsides. One of the things I really loved about Florida was that it lacked several of the rules and limitations that East Coasters were and are still cursed with now. In the early 1970s you couldn’t walk into a NYC or Long Island pet store and buy a monkey. But you can do this in Florida.

Before the government decided they would make all the decisions for us, there was a time you could pick many things on your own. That included what sort of pet you may want to buy or adopt. Regrettably, there were some men and women who loathed that for honest, thoughtful and sincere pet owners… People who left their dogs tied to a tree, maintained an alligator in the pool, had a tiger in their flat or used their home as an animal rescue centre keeping countless poorly fed cats in an entirely unacceptable environment… Now I’m not saying that there should be no laws against maintaining certain kinds of wild or exotic animals as pets. What I need to point out is if the government is prohibiting people from owning animals since they’re compromised or in the view of some”expert” could be emotionally damaged by living with people… Then they’re barking up the wrong tree.

As a fourteen year old boy I walked right into a Wildlife Control New York and saw a squirrel monkey languishing in a little cage. This wasn’t a case of negligence or abuse. This sort of thing can be done by pet stores as a hook for you to purchase one of their priciest or hard to sell choices. So said my father and he was right. At $25 it didn’t cost a fortune and that cost meant the shop wanted it gone. It was a time when few tourists were in town which made it more difficult to sell. Most locals were older and didn’t need the trouble of maintaining a Primate as a pet. Besides, the monkey wasn’t very good at self promotion. It had hardly been weaned when someone took it out of its mother, gave it a few shots and sold it to the pet shop for resale. Because of this the creature was bashful, skiddish and fearful.

I went to the local library and did a little research on squirrel monkeys before I finally bought him two weeks after my initial trip to the pet store. The puppy died before we proceeded. The other pets were adopted to neighbors that knew and liked them since it was just not feasible to bring them together. I named my fighter Sam and brought him home to a huge cage which we kept at a Florida Room with jalousied windows on the side of the property. That area could be cut off from A/C if needed, but was heated for the brief time period that our region experienced any cold weather.

However, they need a whole lot of companionship and mental stimulation. He tried to bite me first so I pinched him several times until he learned to not be so aggressive. The idea was to use repetitive and conditioning discipline as tools to get the animal behave. I had been the head of the primate group, not him. I was the supplier of food, shelter and water. After he figured out this he discovered quicker. Initially I used a leash. After a couple of months it wasn’t required. He was permitted to roam freely under our oversight and even played while we’d barbeques or proceeded in our pool. He used the vacant lot next shop as an exercise yard climbing the trees and chasing squirrels and birds.

You can not have either without stressing out one or both pets. In reality Monkeys are covetous. I strongly suggest that if you plan on having a monkey of the kind you prevent having other pets. Most Monkeys that aren’t well trained or treated will probably get mean or moody as they transition into adulthood.

As a guideline Monkeys are smart. They learn quickly and are great escape artists. That’s the reason why training is important. I left Sam’s cage door open when he had been trained. I did close the doors to this area. After some time he learned how to open and shut all the doors that lead to the backyard so he can go outside to play or do his business. But he’d never go unless one of us gave him our consent. Doors to his chamber were padlocked when we moved out without him.

Having a squirrel monkey is simple and challenging… satisfying and frustrating… annoying and fun… but it’s ethical? You’ll need to decide for yourself unless your town or state has already done that for you. The fact remains that people will own monkeys regardless. In China it is illegal, but tens of thousands of Chinese own”Pocket Monkees” that are usually purchased as infant Pygmy Mamosets, Capuchins or Resus Monkeys. They don’t treat them well. They tie their arms so that they will learn how to practice walking on twos rather than fours that’s painful and unnatural for them. They shave their fur off and dress them in clothes. You understand. These critters are status symbols in China where many governments look the other way and ignore the wealthy and important folks who own them. But if they or responsible pet owners didn’t purchase the monkeys they’d be sold to research labs and condemned to a life spent being exposed to emotionally or physically harmful experiments while living in a very small cage devoid of love or companionship.

Annually tens of thousands of monkeys have been sent to research facilities worldwide and several orders for more from the same torture facilities remain unfilled. Given that fact it’s tough to be worried about the morality of having a monkey for a pet in contrast to the identical animal ending up as a laboratory rat. Most people I know who’ve owned a fighter didn’t mistreat it, or shave it, or beat or keep it in an improper environment. Once more, if you’ve got the lawful right to have one, you need to decide if it’s something you need to do or not. Before you do anything, do a great deal of research and purchase from a respectable breeder should you decide a fighter is the ideal pet for you. No additional $25 prices. You may spend $3000-$6000 depending on the kind of monkey you select. Most people today prefer the Capuchins because of their ability to learn tricks and behaviours. If tiny is your strategy Pygmy Marmosets are finger sized as infants and hand sized as adults. Squirrel and Spider Monkeys need more time and effort than most folks care to invest in a pet.

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