Just wondering if anyone here on TP has ever had or now has a primate? Monkey or Chimpanzee.
I don't know what the laws are now and seriously doubt that anyone would want a Chimp as a pet, after what happened to that man in California last month, but I never hear anyone talk about monkeys here.
When I was younger, the only pet shop in the area, was in a town where my Dad was going to college. When we would go up to see my Dad, I'd beg to stop there and see the animals. I remember that they had small monkeys, whom I now think must've been young spider monkeys.
We have had almost any pet imaginable and yes, my Dad did get me a monkey eventually. Not when I was young, but after I graduated from high school.
If anyone has any monkey stories to share, I'd love to hear them.
And, if you are intersted, I can share some pretty cool stories about our monkey and his antics.
I don't agree with the practice of ripping a primate away from it's mother to be used as a pet, but it's true that there's many primates out there who wouldn't be able to survive in the wild and need to be placed in rescue homes. I personally don't think I would be able to handle a monkey, they seem pretty unpredictable (if undeniably cute). They're certainly fascinating creatures.
I've never had a monkey but we used to board a monkey in the clinic, it was a spider monkey. He was very stubborn and used to throw his poop[ at you when ever you would walk by his cage. I was interested in his behavior but the fact that he looks so human like kind of creeps me out. He bit one of the receptionists, he had a tantrum, he wasn't getting his own way.
I'm back from work, had to leave soon after starting this thread.
We had a monkey in the late 70's. My Dad found out about an older couple that had a monkey caged up in their apartment for 4 years, never letting him out of his pen. So off we went, to see the critter. I remember that we told my Mom that we were going to pick up a television set.
I felt sorry for the people and the monkey. The couple was elderly and not in very good health. The monkey was in a huge cage, but never was let out to play or just be a monkey. We ended up hauling Chico home that night.
He was a Capuchin, the old tyme organ grinders companion. He was remarkably human like in his features. Little black hands, that looked like he was wearing leather gloves and black fingernails. He kept his nails trimmed short, except for one that he used to open his oranges, boiled eggs or whatever he felt needed opening.
One time the neighbor from down the block came over to see Chico. We were all talking and Jolly was standing near the cage. Chico was oohhing and aahhing over Jolly's watch. I can still remember him turning Jolly's wrist back and forth and touching the watch, all the time chattering. Next thing you know, Jolly's watch was off his wrist and in Chico's cage. I had to offer the monkey something else in exchange for him giving the watch back.
I have dozens of stories, I do agree that they are not the best possible pet. This one that we got, was not trained properly, never being allowed out of his cage, until he came to our house. Also, whomever bought the monkey in the first place, never had the fang teeth removed. They can be very dangerous, especially one that has not been handled much.
Let me know if you want to hear about Chico watching the neighbors house, that was sooo funny.
Chico's pen was located just below the window at my parents house, in their rec room. At one time the rec room was their 2 car garage, but they converted it to family use, after building a bigger garage.
The windows were small and very high on the side of the house, since it was just for cars anyway to begin with. There were those see through, white frilly curtains on the windows to allow all light access.
Well, I worked with Chico a lot, just trying to get him accustomed to his new home and new family. It took quite awhile before I let him out of his pen, but that day did come.
It was the cutest thing. We had neighbors about 5 acres away, just outside the window. Chico would jump up to the top of his pen and pull the curtains aside and look at the neighbors. It got to be a big joke in our family. We'd ask"Chico, what are the neighbors doing?" He'd jump up there, open the curtains and chatter away. They look so human, it looked like a little man up there spying on the neighbors.
I guess you had to be there to get the full affect, but you get the idea? He was too smart for his own good. They can really understand so much human language that it is scarey.
Once in awhile, even now, my Mom will ask me "Chico, what are the neighbors doing?" and we'll both start chuckling.
Are you sure Scout? I don't know anyone else that ever had a monkey, so that is why I posted, thought we could compare "war stories," so to speak.
Someone had mentioned that the monkey that was boarded at their clinic was dirty. Chico was a clean freak. I tend to think that the little Grandma that had him for 4 years taught him to clean his own cage up.
We would get bags of old clothes from the local St. Vincent De Paul store for Chico. Not to wear, but to put in his pen. It was a hoot to watch him take the cloth and wipe up his floor. Then he would carefully take the cloth and push it out between the bars of the cage and drop it on the floor. He didn't like to be dirty. Chico never threw his own waste, just cleaned it up and placed it outside his pen.
We used to cut the legs off of the old jeans that we got in the St. Vinnies rag bag and give them to him to sleep in. That was cute. He'd climb inside the leg and pull it up around himself, kind of like a sleeping bag. Guess it must have made him feel more secure.
We had Chico before the internet was popular, otherwise I am sure I could have learned a whole lot more about monkeys and their needs. I was limited in the amount of knowledge available to me at the time, so just winged it.
I don't even know where Chico originated from, I can't ask the original owners as this was 25 years ago and both are long since deceased. I doubt that he was taken from the wild though. Someone must have been raising and selling them, as at one time the Capuchin's were a little popular. Mostly in circuses or dressed up as the organ grinders monkeys.
Good morning all - I have to take Kesha in to get her stitches out. (She's our Pit Bull mix pup who was spayed 10 days ago, for anyone that doesn't know her). But I wanted to share one more Chico story before I go.
Chico had never been released from his cage, as long as the older couple had him, which is over 4 years. Eventually I was able to let him out, keeping him confined to the back room, since my Mom was afraid he'd be swinging from the chandeliers. :)
We'd kick back and watch tv together, me in the full size adult, wooden rocking chair and Chico alongside me in my old, padded red rocking chair that I used as a child. He loved to watch cartoons. Chico was the coolest, we'd each have a glass of water, but of course he'd always try to drink out of mine. Yucky, I didn't want anything to do with the water after he got his lips on the glass.
My Mom was out shopping one day, and Chico and I were watching TV. She came to the back door with her bag of groceries and I'm not sure what Chico thought (since he was secretive about sharing his innermost thoughts with me) but he must have seen her bag of groceries as some kind of threat to our safe, tv watching environment.
He got up on his legs, arms stretched out in the air and chased my Mom into the house. She dropped the bag of groceries and ran. That monkey was small in body size, but when he stood up with arms up, he was about 3 feet tall. He looked like King Kong. Teeth bared and just screaming at her.
I was laughing so hard (now that I think back, it really wasn't too funny). My Mom didn't think it was very funny at all, especially since the glass jar in her grocery bag was shattered.
Maybe his behaviour is due to the fact that the people that owned him previously never allowed him out of his pen to socialize with the family. I mean, how much interaction could the poor animal have, being locked in a pen 24/7? Maybe if a monkey was obtained as a youngster and properly socialized, it would make a good pet, but to keep it locked in the cage constantly was cruel.
Someone mentioned (I think it might have been Boxer Babe) earlier that they would love an Orangutan as a pet. Because of their sheer size, I don't think they would make a very good pet for the average person. They are very strong, I know how strong the little Capuchin was that we had.
I did enjoy seeing Clyde the Orangutan in those Clint Eastwood movies. Thing I remember most was when Clint told him "Right turn, Clyde" and he reached his arm out the window and punched the guy in the face. :)
Ok, hope you don't mind my babbling about Chico. Now, I have to take Kesha to the vets and get her "zipper" taken out of her belly.
More later, if you can stand another Chico story. :D
Ok, I'm home. Tomorrow is the 11th day in a row and then 3 days off. Yahoo. However after pulling a night shift, I turn around and go in for 7am tomorrow. Yikes.
Are you ready for another Chico story? I'm tired, so don't know how much I will write tonite.
My Mom had a Siamese cat for 10 years and whenever you called the dog, he would come running, meowing and thinking we needed him for something. She called the cat Mee Tu.
Mee Tu was spoiled, he'd terrorize me. I'd be petting him and all of a sudden he'd get it in his head to bite me. Not really hard, but annoying. I'd put him out in the hall and he'd run down to the living room, crying all the way to my Mom. She in turn would yell down the hallway, did you do something to my cat? (He was a little narc). Nevermind that the cat bit me first and I just put him in the hall and shut the door.
So, when we got the monkey, the cat was curious. I guess he couldn't figure out why we had a little man in a fur suit locked in a cage in the rec room. He'd come slinking into the room, trying to spy on the monkey. The cat would perch up on the furniture, staring at Chico.
Chico had the cutest little voice (at times). He would try to coax Mee Tu over near his cage. This went on for a long time, finally Chico must have talked the cat into coming over by his cage. Just a little too close.
We heard the cat howling and went to see what was going on. Chico had his arm reached out of the cage and was pulling the cat's tail. (Served him right, the cat bit me enough, guess this was his payback).
Eventually the cat and the monkey became friends, no more tail pulling. Chico liked to reach out and try to take the cats collar off.
One time we had to change the lock on the monkey's cage. It was a lock and key set up, like a Masterlock. We put on a combination lock, which was a mistake.
Chico spent lots of time, playing with the lock and eventually got it open. Must have been trial and error, just happened to turn it in the right directions.
In the summer time, when it was warmer and not too breezy, we'd haul the entire cage outdoors and put Chico under the willow trees. He'd spend hours pulling on the willow branches and picking off the leafs. He also liked to use his little fingernails to dig in the dirt.
I never did let him loose outdoors, as I was sure I'd never see him again, and he would never be able to survive in the wild.
Awe Basset_lover, I loved your stories! I love monkeys too but would never own one. They are much stronger than us & require 24/7 care.
I did see on animal planet where a lady had one also & she kept her in diapers. The monkey helped make the meals etc & took care of her owner when she got cancer. Then when the monkey got real sick, the owner took good care of the monkey. It was such an increadibly sweet story! :)
Keep up with the stories! Also, what happened to him?
I'm home, yahoo, don't have to work until Wednesday. Plan to go outside and fix the fence so I can let the Dalmatian and 2 little dogs out to run for a few hours.
You are right, monkeys do require a lot of care. Had I gotten Chico when he was younger, I am sure he and I could have accomplished a lot more. For one thing, he should have been de-fanged. I'm not sure what you call the teeth for a primate, but his fangs were still intact. Plus, he should have been neutered, that may have helped with some of the aggressiveness that he suffered from. Unfortunately I was not his original owner and really wasn't prepared to rescue a monkey, but we winged it.
I did discover that Purina makes Monkey Chow and asked the local feedstore to order it for us. Chico liked the chow, it was shaped somewhat like dog biscuits. He had never been fed the monkey chow before, at least not by the people that had him caged for so long. He also loved fresh fruit. Apples, oranges, bannanas, grapes, melon. He didn't care for rhubarb, but then again, I don't either, unless it is with strawberries (like strawberry rhubarb jam or pie).
My Mom would give him a little dixie cup of orange juice every morning and usually a soft boiled egg, sometimes just toast. If he didn't like the jam or whatever she put on the toast, he would rub it on the wall, maybe trying to blend it in with the woodwork, so he didn't have to eat it?
It was so cute to watch him eat the egg, he would talk and chatter all the time that he ate. Chico would use his one long fingernail to open the egg and eat the yolk first. Then, later he would eat the white part.
From what I remember, he did drink a lot of water, we usually hung that on the side of the cage for him. If he was out, he would drink out of a glass, actually it was plastic, as we were afraid he'd break it and hurt himself with broken glass.
He had a hard rubber tire swing, hanging from a chain in the cage. If he wanted attention, he would bang the tire against the cage.
They are a lot of work to keep clean, although he would wipe up his mess with a rag and place the cloth outside the cage, we still had to pull the tray out of his cage and wash and disinfect it daily.
Ok, enough for now, may I continue later? I'll try to get to what eventually happened to Chico tonite. The daylight is burning and the dogs are waiting.
Of all my pet/animal related experience and encounters, two stand out in my mind far and away. Helping band(ID) a Bald Eagle and holding and cuddling with a baby Orangutan; minus the gorgeous hair they are so human like it literally floored me!! Sorry I do not know much about owning primates or their husbandry. I have my opinion on this practice and will not elaborate...please do not think for a second that I am taking sides. :)
Monkeys like to groom each other, and since Chico had no other primate friends, I was his chosen family. I had my horses for years and owned Chico for a shorter duration during that time.
If you've had horses or cattle, you know that when you throw the hay out into the field, pasture or pen, there are little pieces of chafe that will fly out of the hay and find their way into your hair and on your clothes.
Chico loved it when I came in the house after being with the horses. He would take great delight in finding "bugs" in my scalp and on my clothes. He'd pick them out and eat them, all it was is the chafe from the hay. He would search through my hair and chatter the entire time he was looking for those "bugs".
If I was wearing my pierced birthstone earrings, I had to be careful around the monkey. He'd pick at them with his fingernails and try to pull them from my ears.
He loved watches and rings. I believe I already told you how he told our neighbors watch, right off his arm. He didn't want to give it back, either.
Chico loved my Mom's diamond ring. He'd try his best to take it off her hand. He'd oooh and aaaah over the stone, kiss it and then try to bite it. I think he must have been a jeweler in his former life.
I'll have to see if I can find any pictures of Chico, will do my best to get some posted.