No more monkey business: why primates should never be pets
About 4,500 primates are in private hands in the UK many of them suffering poor conditions. Is it time for a forbidding?
Primate owner Laura was scanning the internet adverts for monkeys she could try to rescue when she spotted one from a man in the Cotswolds who was clearly detecting caring for two common marmosets extremely difficult. This is a common problem: primates are wild animals and keeping them is complex, expensive and demanding.
She contacted the man and agreed to collect the two adult monkeys one male and one female. They had been kept in a tiny shed in his garden and were in a terrible condition. Hed fed them almost entirely on porridge, newborn food and fish fingers. When I asked if he had given them any fruit or veggies, he remembered that hed occasionally fed them grapes. Neither monkey had ever been considered by a veterinarian. The male had severe dental both problems and his tail was a mixture of matted hair and bald patches.
Like many of us, Laura( not her real name) grew up fascinated and enthralled by monkeys, and although she had never intended to keep primates, she found herself rescuing the two marmosets. She soon realised that the female was pregnant and, two week ago, twin males were born. Soon after, the adult male was booked in for surgery to fix his tail and teeth. While the marmoset was under anaesthetic, the veterinarian discovered that his tiny body was riddled with metabolic bone illnes caused by poor nutrition and insufficient illuminate. Sadly the male died during the operation though, with his distorted bones and body bloated by gas, it seemed a slight blessing when his heart eventually stopped.
Read more: www.theguardian.com