Friday, February 15, 2013

Repeat After Me: Primates Are Not Pets


Roxy, our Fennec Fox, was finally able to move into her new enclosure yesterday, making way for a new monkey arrival. If you ever needed any explanation as to why monkeys should not be kept as pets, Brandy is the perfect example. A capuchin, Brandy was bought by her owners from a pet store and treated as an infant child. She was given her own room, fed sweets, and generally denied a monkey way of life. This is all very well (or not) and everyone thinks they have an adorable monkey-child.

Then the monkey reaches sexual maturity, and you no longer have a cute little child on your hands but an angry teenager. In the case of Brandy, who started attacking her female owner, their answer was to put her on a shorter and shorter leash in her room. Not surprisingly, she became all the more vicious. Finally, not knowing what else to do, the owners called IPR and gave an ultimatum: if you can’t take her, she’ll be euthanized.

Brandy arrived a few days ago. Neither monkey nor human, she is pissed, and who can blame her. I have to say, I take a much harsher view of her owners than most of the others here. The owners were crying when they dropped her off and have been back each day to visit. They were crying when they dropped her off and so the other volunteers and staff were talking about how much they obviously loved her.
Brandy, shortly after arrival at IPR

My take is much less sympathetic toward them: they have engaged in an ongoing act of cruelty, caused by their own vanity and stupidity. I would not buy a dog without doing some research into how best to raise one: diet, behavior, etc. The most basic research into monkeys would tell you that they should not be kept as pets. The owners didn’t buy her to be a monkey; they bought her to be a child, and sadly Brandy will probably never fully recover.

The Primate Rescue Center in Nicholasville, Kentucky, has many residents who were originally pets but confiscated by state officials. Some have had teeth and claws removed in an attempt to “calm” them; others are diabetic thanks to a lifelong diet of sweets. It is incredibly sad for the monkeys, and cruel on the part of humans.

Here’s hoping that the next stage of Brandy’s life is much happier than it has been so far. 

UPDATE: Brandy was able to move into her new enclosure a few days after I left IPR. She is apparently now thriving at the sanctuary. She is allowing others to groom her and is being introduced to Chino and Willow with the goal that eventually they will all share their space. 

No comments:

Post a Comment