As I sit and write this post today, Ollie, my 4 year old rescued squirrel monkey is snuggled on my lap napping on this cold winter morning. When someone says they want to buy a pet monkey, I believe this is the image they think of. A small monkey snuggled and just enjoying their warmth.
Unfortunately, I’m here to break that illusion. If you’ve watched any of Ollie’s YouTube videos, you know Ollie rarely sits still. When looking to buy a pet monkey many people get scammed right off bat. The exotic pet market is FULL of people using photos of monkeys they don’t actually have and putting prices like $1500-$3000. I’ve even seen full sites that look similar to Craigslist fully dedicated to scamming people out of money for a non existent monkey. We’ve even had a scammer claim to have Ollie’s brother or sister for sale which couldn’t even be possible since Ollie was a rescue. But sadly, people fall for this DAILY.
If a person does get their hands on an actual live baby monkey and doesn’t get scammed they quickly realize a monkey is a huge responsibility. Just like a human baby the monkey grows up. They learn from their environment and quickly adapt. They are also just naturally curious and extremely mischievous. The new owner may have a few good months under their belt as the monkey learns how to walk, climb, and play. But everything quickly turns once the baby monkey transitions into adulthood. The monkey can now open bottles, open cabinets, run faster than you, and climb higher than you can reach. I’m sure you can see how quickly that could get out of hand.
How Much Does A Pet Monkey Cost?
Ollie is a rescue, so we didn’t purchase him. However, I do know the cost of a monkey ranges anywhere from ($8,000-$15,000). This however can range greatly on the breed, species, breeder, and the age of the monkey. For someone who has $10,000 to spare that may not seem like a bad price to pay for an exotic pet. But once you start adding in all the cost over the monkey’s lifetime one could easily spend $200,000 plus. Remember, monkey’s have long lives and can live up to 30 years in captivity. Monkey’s also need specialty veterinarian care and can’t see just a regular vet.
Types Of Monkeys
- Common Squirrel Monkey
- Capuchin range
- Marmoset Also Known As Finger Monkeys
- Spider Monkey
- And Old World Monkeys
Is It Legal To Own A Pet Monkey?
This is an extremely tricky one to navigate and one MANY MANY MANY people do not understand. First, making sure you are even allow to own a monkey must be taken at country level.
Countries It’s Illegal To Own A Monkey Include
- And certain areas in EU such as
- The Netherlands
So your country isn’t on the list? That’s step one. Step two is by state. Yup, even if you are legally allowed to have a pet monkey per your country you now must check by state laws. State laws get a bit muddy and you must read very carefully. Once you’ve determined you can indeed legally own a pet monkey in your state, it now goes down to COUNTY. The easiest way is to look up your county animal laws and the zoning. What zone you live in could be the difference of having a pet monkey legally or illegally. The last thing you must do is call your local wildlife officer to double check it is legal to own a pet monkey within your zone and that he/she approves.
Now you’ve determined if it’s legal and you’ve discovered if there’s a fee to own a pet monkey. This is another expense most do not check on before getting a pet monkey. For our county there is a yearly fee and lot of rules we must follow to stay in compliance with the local laws.
Are Monkeys Safe Pets?
We often get asked if we let Ollie just roam the house. The answer to that is ABSOLUTELY NOT!
For one, I’d like for my dearly departed grandmother’s vase to not get broken or knocked down. I also don’t want to worry if Ollie found a crumb of food in between the couch cushion or a trash can that could be harmful to him. There are to many things for a monkey to get into. We see owners let their monkeys roam free through the household and it truly makes me sad. Everyday common items like power cords can be dangerous for a monkey. This is the reason why we have a full master sized room completely monkey proofed for Ollie to play in. And yes, even though I say fully monkey proofed Ollie still finds something in there to mess with which is also why we never allow him to be unattended. Monkeys can also show aggressive behavior and hold grudges for no reason.
Do Monkey’s Make Good Pets?
Monkey’s are highly intelligent, very greedy, costly, and need 24/7 care. Most people are not financially or emotionally stable to be able to give a monkey the enrichment, emotional, and social care it needs to be able to thrive. You can not have a monkey if you work a 9-5 job and you shouldn’t get a monkey if you are already at retirement age. This is because the monkey could outlive you or become to much to care for as you live out your final years. A very small percentage of people are able to fully care for a pet monkey and before getting one you should be sure to fully research every aspect of the laws, the breed, the requirements of the monkey’s diet, emotional happiness, and the specialty primate veterinary. Now if after reading this you feel overwhelmed and want to learn more or see more educational videos I encourage you to go watch Ollie The Monkey on YouTube, where I share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Be sure to also check out Do Monkeys Stink?
This post may contain affiliate links, which is where I earn a small commission if you purchase through the links.
The author also does NOT promote the sale of exotic pets through the exotic pet trade. This post is for educational purposes only.