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Home > General > Do Guenon Monkey’s Make Good Pets? What You Need to Know

Do Guenon Monkey’s Make Good Pets? What You Need to Know

Guenon Monkey side view_Tourpics net_Shutterstock

Monkeys are without a doubt, one of the most popular animals of all time. They are cute, curious, and humanlike. Monkeys are pasted all over television and movies and are a favorite zoo exhibit for children and adults alike.

You’ve heard of or know of someone that has a monkey for a pet. Who wouldn’t, right? You probably couldn’t find a cuter, more interesting animal to welcome into your home. So, it stands to question. Do Guenon monkeys make good pets?

The answer is, no. Guenon monkeys do not make good pets. No species of monkey or ape make good pets and we’ll explain why. First, we’ll investigate the Guenon Monkey specifically.

leaves divider leafWhat Is a Guenon Monkey?

Guenon monkeys are compromised of 26 species of monkeys native to Africa. They are distinguishable by their bold markings of white or other bright colors. Guenons are graceful with long, slim arms and legs, short faces, and a tail longer than their body, designed to help with balance.

The base coloration of guenons is commonly grayish, reddish, or brown. They have soft, dense fur and many species have a speckled appearance produced by the dual coloration on the hair shafts.

Guenon monkeys are arboreal forest dwellers. Some species make their home in the wetlands of Africa as well. Most guenons live in territorial large groups of females and the young with a single adult male.

Several species of Guenons can be tamed. These monkeys and are commonly seen in zoos around the world and with proper care, may live up to 30 years or more. As with any other type of monkey or ape, guenons do not make good pets.

Why Don’t Monkey’s Make Good Pets?

There are thousands of pet monkeys in the United States today. It truly looks like a unique and entertaining experience from the outside looking in. The truth is monkey ownership is very complex, challenging, and not meant for most people.

The 5 Challenges of Having Monkeys as Pets

1. Cost

Monkeys are expensive pets to acquire, costing anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on the specific species. They will require a very specific diet as well, it can be very costly to feed a monkey over its lifetime. You will also need to factor in the expense of a secure enclosure, toys, supplies, and veterinary care. Overall, monkeys are extremely expensive pets.

2. Aggression and Behavioral Issues

As babies, these furry little humanlike creatures may seem harmless and entertaining but once they reach sexual maturity, monkeys can become stronger, unpredictable, and potentially aggressive. Once they do reach maturity, they will likely attempt to establish dominance. Monkeys are known to attack their human owners. Typically, once an owner realizes they can’t handle the monkey they will want to rehome it. This will cause a great deal of stress for the monkey and finding them a new home is extremely difficult.

3. Care Requirements

Caring for a pet monkey is nothing like any other pet. Monkeys can live up to 30 years or more if properly cared for.  Monkeys do not mature as humans do, they tend to reach the mentality level of a two-year-old child and remain that way for life. It is essentially like living with a permanent toddler. Monkeys require a lot of social interaction. If a pet monkey is deprived of your time and attention, it will most likely develop severe behavioral problems that include screaming, biting, and aggression, and psychological issues that are a nearly impossible treat. They can also be very mischievous by nature and destructive when bored.

Monkeys need a large, secure enclosure, which tends to be very expensive. They will also require outdoor time and a wide variety of toys and exercise equipment to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Monkeys are very messy creatures, and they can’t be toilet trained. Many pet monkeys will require a lifetime of diapers if they are trained at an early age to use them. Otherwise, they will use the bathroom wherever they see fit. Monkeys tend to get creative and playful with their feces and urine, which leaves a mess no one wants to clean.

Image By: Ondrej Prosicky, Shutterstock

4. Legalities of Owning Monkeys

Primates such as monkeys and apes can be illegal to own in some states.  Even under the circumstances where a monkey is legal to own in your state, permits still might be required. Permit holders must meet certain criteria and are subject to home inspections to ensure proper facilities and care are being provided. Homeowner’s insurance may require additional liability coverage, or some insurance companies might cancel your policy altogether if they find out you have a monkey. Failing to have insurance puts you at risk if your monkey bites someone.

5. Medical Issues

It may be difficult to keep a pet monkey healthy. Monkeys often require specialized diets that can be expensive and time-consuming to prepare. Diabetes is a common health issue in pet monkeys due to the poor diets many owners feed them. Depending on the species, there can be a wide array of other medical issues that may pop up in a pet monkey. Several zoonotic diseases can be passed between monkeys and humans, some of these diseases can be very serious. It will also be challenging to find a veterinarian near you who is able and willing to treat pet monkeys. Having a veterinarian is essential to a captive monkey’s health.

guenon feeding baby monkey
Image By: DEZALB, Pixabay

leaves divider leafConclusion

Monkeys do not make good pets. They need too much care and attention and can potentially cause too much harm and destruction to thrive as a pet.  The issues noted here also apply to owning apes. Overall, non-human primates are wild animals that can never truly become domesticated. Monkeys should only be kept in zoos or sanctuaries when in the care of humans.

Featured Image Credit: Tourpicsnet, Shutterstock

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