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If you’re one of the people that love squirrel monkeys and would really want one as a pet, then prepare for a lot of time spent caring for this creature. This is a highly active animal, yellow to orange in color, that will require a lot of care and time.
Most people instinctively have a strong bond with all kinds of animals. As you already know, humans were behind domesticating wolves, which later on led to the birth of dogs. Due to our strong connection with the wild, we are in a constant desire to keep exotic species of animals as pets. The monkey is just one of these animals. One species of monkey, also called the squirrel monkey, is slowly climbing the top of the most desired exotic pets out there. If you really want to get this creature, prepare for quite the challenge.
You might also like my article with great names for a monkey.
Is a Squirrel Monkey a Good Pet?
The natural habitat of the squirrel monkey is the canopy of the tropical forests in the south and central America. This animal has a tail of 35 to 43 cm in length, while its body will be 25 to 35 cm in size. It will have a weight of between 700 and 1100 grams. It will have a white throat and ears, a black mouth, and an overall yellow to orange and short fur. This is why some people call it the death’s head monkey. Some species of squirrel monkeys will have a black coat.
This is a monkey that will rest throughout the night and will be active during the day. The tail won’t be used for climbing but helps it to balance on tree branches. A weird fact is that the female will have a falic appendice with which it will be able to dominate smaller monkeys. It’s pretty obvious that a free-spirited animal like this squirrel monkey strives for a life in the wild, which makes keeping it captive a very challenging task.
These monkeys are very social and will usually live in troops that can range from 10 to 100 specimens. If you don’t have the possibility to hold two or more of these as pets, then it is better to have none. You will notice that keeping this monkey is like having a troubled teen around the house, this creature being very mischievous. It is usually more suited for people with experience in handling intelligent pets. Monkeys will usually pick favorites from the members of a human family, which might put a strain on the family as a whole. They are also known to bite and get aggressive, usually towards younger or more vulnerable members of the family, particularly smaller children.
A squirrel monkey will usually enjoy a combination of fruits and insects. It will usually get the necessary amount of water to hydrate from the food it will eat or from tree holes or puddles. It is also known to eat spiders, tree frogs, small birds, and other small creatures. While keeping one in captivity, you can give it monkey chow and fruits. It will make quite the mess around its cage and will also be very picky when it comes to the food it will choose to eat.
The Needed Care
The pet monkey will require a lot of attention and a big chunk of your time. You will also have to be quite the understanding and forgiving individual to keep this pet. You will have to constantly remind yourself that this is an animal that belongs to the wild and not a cage. You should never expect it to abide by your social standards while keeping it in your home. You will have a very hard time taming it, as the animal will still try to behave as it would in the wild. The pet will find the weakest individual in your home and try to constantly bully them, while also favoring the strongest individual. It will also excrete on your electronic equipment, waste food, and spill the water you give it. It will often steal different things it finds around the house and food that is left unguarded. When it gets bored, it can pull down on drapes or damage pieces of your furniture.
A monkey should live in the wild. If you insist on raising one as your pet, it should receive all of the required attention. If you find it hard to keep other pets like dogs or cats around the home, then keeping a squirrel monkey is really not for you, as this creature will be considerably more demanding and taxing.
Before getting a squirrel monkey, make sure that it is legal to own one in your area because a lot of states consider domesticating squirrel monkeys illegal. Even if owning one is legal, you might still need a license to keep it. Remember that you’re getting yourself into a life-long commitment to taking care of the animal. Don’t expect it to become more understanding and self-sustaining once it reaches adulthood. They will always need your love and constant care. A lot of people will get a squirrel monkey only to give up on it later on down the road. This is a very hard-to-keep animal. If you take it out of its natural habitat, it will have a really hard time reconnecting with its peers in the wild.
So make sure you do proper research into owning this creature before getting one. Talk to past owners of a squirrel monkey for an insight into what it takes to keep one. Don’t just take an animal out of its natural setting before making sure you will be able to keep it, to make sure you won’t have to abandon it at some point.