Those who have never worked with monkeys may think that these animals would be a fun pet, but if you find yourself thinking pet monkeys would be fun, then you may want to think again.
Though these wild animals would certainly be fun to own, we do not recommend that anyone own a pet monkey unless they are a trained professional that has experience dealing with monkeys.
Although monkeys appear to be cute and cuddly, you have to keep in mind that these creatures are not domesticated. This means that they are not going to be happy with living in a captive environment.
The wild nature of monkeys makes them dangerous to both humans and themselves, and there are plenty of instances of people getting injured by monkeys that they never should have owned in the first place.
In addition to the danger and ethics associated with monkey ownership, it can be illegal to own these creatures in many different states and countries. Therefore, unless you are a professional monkey handler that has a permit to possess one of these animals, we do not recommend that you try to purchase a monkey.
While monkey ownership may not be right for you, you may nonetheless wonder how much zoos or trained monkey professionals have to pay to own one of these creatures.
Read on to discover more about pet monkey cost and keeping monkeys.
How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Baby Monkey?
Unsurprisingly, the cost of a baby monkey will vary enormously depending on the species of monkey that you are interested in purchasing.
There are several different “pet monkeys” that are available for purchase, with each species coming with its own unique characteristics and price points. However, before we talk about the prices of these animals let’s get one thing clear:
There is no such thing as a pet monkey. Monkeys are not meant to be domesticated, and these creatures often fare very poorly in captivity. Therefore, so-called “pet monkeys” should only be kept by a trained monkey handler.
Another thing to keep in mind is that female baby monkeys tend to be more docile than their male counterparts.
Now, a general, ballpark estimate for the amount of money that it will cost for the initial purchase of a monkey is anywhere between $5,000 to $60,000, with many species of monkey being on the more expensive range of that spectrum.
Let’s answer the question “How much does a monkey cost?”, by looking at the price of several monkey species:
Native to Central and South America, there are five unique species of squirrel monkeys. These creatures are fairly small, maxing out at just shy of 14 inches long, while being under 10 inches long on the small end of the spectrum.
Though five squirrel monkey species exist, the Common Squirrel Monkey is the species that is primarily distributed to captive breeding populations. Fortunately, Common Squirrel Monkeys are not endangered at this point.
Trained professionals interested in buying Squirrel Monkeys will need to fork over at least $10,000 in most cases due to the uncommon nature of these animals. Squirrel Monkey cost may exceed $20,000.
Seven species of spider monkeys are native to rainforests of Central and South America. Unfortunately, all seven species are endangered in the wild to some capacity.
Spider monkeys are sizable primates, being the largest monkeys in the New World. Some studies also suggest that these animals are the smartest monkeys in the New World.
Spider Monkeys are lanky creatures, with long limbs and tails. The tails of these creatures can measure almost three feet long.
Unsurprisingly, buying a Spider Monkey is not cheap. If you want a Spider Monkey as a pet monkey, Spider Monkey cost ranges from anywhere from $10,000 to $18,000.
Capuchins are a group of monkeys that are native to Central and South America. There are more than 20 species of capuchin monkeys that exist today.
Measuring a foot long to nearly two feet long, these monkeys have tails that are equivalent to their body lengths.
While some suggest that spider monkeys are the most intelligent species of New World monkeys, others say that capuchins take the cake.
These creatures are a common monkey seen in captivity, and they have been noted in an assortment of movies and television shows.
Buying a baby capuchin will cost between $6,000 to $10,000 in most cases.
There are 23 different species of Macaques that are primarily native to Asia, although some species can be found in Africa. These monkeys are often found in large social groups that are led by a dominant female.
Unfortunately, almost all of the Macaque species have an endangered species status. Macaques are sizable, solidly-built monkeys that are often brown in coloration. Some Macaque species have tails, while other species lack such a feature.
The different species of Macaques vary in size, but they max out just shy of 30 inches long (excluding tails). Some male Macaques can weigh close to 40 pounds.
To purchase a Macaque, a trained individual would need to dish out anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 in most cases. Though Macaques are not massive, they are quite strong for their size. This means that they can pose quite a danger to humans who are not trained to handle them.
Marmosets are native to the rainforests of South America, with occasional sightings being made in Central America. There are 22 different marmoset species in existence.
A marmoset is one of the most ancestral species of monkey, as they have retained traits like claws that many monkeys have lost through evolution.
Marmosets are tiny, measuring only around 8 inches long in most cases. Their tiny size has earned them the nickname “finger monkey”.
Buying a finger monkey will cost anywhere between $1,500 to $3,000.
Chimpanzees need no introduction. These apes are famous for their unfathomable amounts of intelligence. Chimpanzees are capable of tool use, arithmetic, and communication with humans.
Native to equatorial regions of Africa, these creatures have been the focus of many studies, and humans are constantly impressed by their intelligent nature.
Chimps are huge animals, with males more than 150 pounds on the large end of the spectrum. These apes have long, powerful arms that are used for navigating through the treetops.
Those who are not professionally trained may be led to believe that a Chimpanzee would be a fun pet to have. In reality, these animals are extremely dangerous when forced into captivity against their will.
Many are unaware that Chimpanzees are the closest living relatives to humans, so owning one of these animals without having the proper permit or training is wrong.
The intelligence, sharp teeth, and brute strength of Chimpanzees make them fully capable of killing humans. Therefore, these wild animals should be left in nature where they belong.
However, for zoos that are interested in buying a Chimpanzee, the price isn’t cheap. Chimps cost upwards of $50,000.
Additional Costs After Purchasing A Pet Monkey
If you’re under the impression that most of the cost of keeping monkeys is up front, then think again. While the initial costs of buying a pet monkey can indeed be expensive, these costs are nothing compared to the costs of providing for a monkey’s everyday needs.
Additionally, since monkeys live such long lives, those who care for these creatures will have to anticipate paying for decades of care.
So what sorts of things do monkeys need to survive? What are the additional costs after a monkey is purchased? Keep reading to discover what monkey owners have to pay to give a pet monkey the best life possible.
The first and most obvious expense to pet monkey upkeep is buying food–otherwise known as “monkey chow”. Monkeys will need to eat plenty of meals throughout the day. In the wild, these animals often spend a large portion of their days eating or searching for food.
Generally, smaller monkeys will need to consume more meals than bigger monkeys because their metabolisms are faster. However, smaller monkeys will not need to eat as much food every day as bigger species.
Monkeys—like humans—are omnivorous. This means that these animals eat both plant and animal material.
Most monkeys are entirely happy to eat a diet that is largely centered around fruits and vegetables. Protein can be incorporated into a monkey’s diet every now and then.
The amount of money that an individual will spend to feed a pet monkey each month will vary by species, those caring for monkeys can generally expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $100 to feed a monkey every month.
Amateurs who are not trained to care for monkeys often fail to consider that a monkey will have to go to the bathroom several times every day.
It turns out that training a pet monkey to relieve itself in a specific location is not as easy as it sounds. Despite the intelligence of monkeys, it is much harder to potty train a monkey than it is to potty train a dog.
Given the struggles that many go through to potty train monkeys, many pet monkey caretakers instead opt to have a monkey wear diapers. This makes it much easier to clean up after a monkey’s waste.
However, as any parent knows, buying hundreds of diapers every year is a pricey expense. Those who fit monkeys with diapers to aid in bathroom cleanup can expect to pay over $20 per month for this disposable bathroom alternative.
While pets like fish, reptiles, and amphibians can often get by without any sort of enrichment in their daily lives, mentally-stimulating activities are essential for exotic pets like monkeys.
The large brains of monkeys are constantly at work in their wild environments, so if these animals lack enough things to occupy their time in captivity, they can become bored and suffer from a lack of mental stimulation.
Providing a monkey pet with enrichment is the best way to ensure that they have enough things with which to engage daily.
Toys, obstacles, puzzles, and games are all great forms of enrichment for monkeys, as these creatures enjoy interacting with all of these items.
Purchasing toys and puzzles for a pet monkey and setting up obstacles and games within their enclosure will be appreciated by your primate counterpart.
The amount of money that owners will pay for these items will vary from person to person, but one could easily spend an average of over $50 per month on enrichment.
Many may consider housing for monkeys to be more of a one-time purchase instead of a recurring expense. For those who invest in good housing right off the bat, then this expense may not be recurring, but for many who care for monkeys, housing maintenance and upgrades are a constant expense.
Monkeys have earned their reputations for being mischievous for good reason-these creatures are excellent escape artists. Failure to contain a pet monkey with secure housing is undoubtedly asking for a monkey to escape their enclosure.
Moreover, the strength and determination of monkeys are underestimated by nearly anyone who doesn’t work with these creatures on a daily basis. Monkeys have sharp teeth and remarkable strength for their size, so they frequently cause damage to their enclosures.
Those caring for monkeys can purchase housing options that are already constructed. Pet monkey enclosures come premade for both indoor cages and outdoor habitats, with ready-made outdoor habitats being more expensive.
A premade indoor monkey enclosure will typically cost around $1,000, while a ready-made outdoor monkey enclosure usually costs several thousand dollars.
Some monkey caretakers may prefer to build their own monkey enclosure. If constructed well, this could be a good way to create a durable, lasting enclosure. However, poorly-constructed cages are a surefire way to increase a monkey’s chances of escape.
Can A Free Pet Monkey Be Found?
It is very unlikely that free monkeys will be found anywhere. This has to do with the cost of these animals, their rarity, and the specific requirements that an individual needs to properly care for a pet monkey.
There are some organizations that take in monkeys that are surrendered by individuals but don’t think that these organizations will hand monkeys out to anyone who wants one.
If you stand a chance of adopting a pet monkey from a monkey rescue, you had better make sure that you have the proper credentials to own a monkey.
What Is The Cheapest Pet Monkey Breed?
As you may have deduced from the text above, finger monkeys tend to be the cheapest monkey breed that can be obtained by trained experts. However, buying a finger monkey will still cost several thousand dollars for the initial price in many instances.
Just because finger monkeys happen to be cheaper than other monkey breeds, doesn’t mean a finger monkey is any less of a commitment. Despite their small size, these finger monkeys are still capable of living for close to 20 years.
In reality, there is no such thing as a cheap monkey breed, as all species will require significant investments of time, money, and energy.
Places To Find A Baby Pet Monkey For Sale
Professional monkey handlers looking to purchase a baby monkey can seek these primates from a variety of locations. However, before someone goes off and buys a monkey, they should do plenty of research into the location from which they intend to buy a monkey.
If you’re inclined to purchase the cheapest monkey that you can find, then you should not be a monkey owner. Those that are fortunate enough to be in a position to buy a monkey must realize that with such privilege comes great responsibility.
If you’re able to find a monkey that is significantly cheaper than other monkeys of the same species, then you should have some serious questions about why the pet monkey is so inexpensive in comparison to apparently similar monkeys.
Is the monkey being raised in inhumane conditions in order to make the price more affordable for a buyer? Does the monkey have some sort of detrimental health condition?
These are questions that a prospective pet monkey buyer should answer before purchasing a monkey.
The best way to have questions like these answered is to simply investigate the location from which you’re buying your monkey. Therefore, ask the monkey breeder or monkey organization for a tour before you purchase your monkey. If they refuse, it would be reasonable to assume that they’ve got something to hide.
Remember, you owe it to captive monkeys to make sure that they’re coming from a good background.
If you have an inkling that a monkey was raised in poor conditions, you may want to report the incident to law enforcement, and you certainly will not want to give an unethical monkey breeder money to keep their business afloat.
Are Pet Monkeys Dangerous?
You have surely seen plenty of cute images online featuring adorable baby monkeys. After viewing these images, you may wonder how monkeys could possibly be dangerous.
Though monkeys are undeniably cute and often cuddly as babies, we must keep in mind that monkeys will not be infants forever.
Indeed, the baby phase of a monkey’s life is rather brief compared to its adult life. So, despite the cute nature of baby monkeys, they will soon grow out of this stage.
As a monkey ages, it will reach its adolescent phase where it will prepare for puberty and subsequent sexual maturity. Remember, monkeys are very closely related to humans, so they follow the same path toward maturity as we do.
Prior to reaching sexual maturity, a monkey may be quite calm and seemingly a great pet. However, sexual maturity brings about a new chapter in a monkey’s life.
The new hormones and emotions that are introduced to a monkey’s body once they reach sexual maturity make them unpredictable and dangerous. Male monkeys are particularly aggressive once they mature.
The hormones that influence a monkey’s brain during this time make them prone to consider you a competitor rather than a caretaker. This can cause a monkey to attack.
Large monkeys such as chimpanzees, squirrel monkeys, and macaques are especially dangerous to humans, as their size, strength, and quickness make them dangerous when they feel aggressive or threatened.
Chimpanzees are a species that is not only capable of injuring humans but these apes have been known to easily kill humans if they are provoked.
No matter how good you think you may be when it comes to interacting with animals, owning a monkey without the proper training and permits is a recipe for disaster.
Where Can I Take A Monkey For A Checkup?
If you’re a professional monkey handler, you may very well be capable of diagnosing and treating problems with your monkey when they arise. If not, then you surely have a list of places where you can take a monkey when it isn’t feeling the best.
If you have no idea where you would take a monkey when it is suffering from a health complication, then you probably shouldn’t be owning one of these creatures. However, for those that are merely curious about where monkeys get checkups, we’ll let you know.
Monkeys should not be taken in to see a typical veterinarian. Sure, these individuals may be able to offer some advice, but they are not trained to deal with monkeys because these animals are not typical pets.
Therefore, monkeys should be taken to see a veterinarian who has been specially trained to deal with these creatures.
Some states have several vets that have the credentials to deal with monkeys, while other states lack a single veterinarian that is capable of treating monkeys.
Information about who is a certified monkey veterinarian can readily be found online.
Ethical Concerns With Monkey Ownership
Owning a monkey may seem like a fun and exciting prospect, but before you go off and purchase a monkey for yourself, you owe it to yourself to consider the ethical concerns with owning a monkey.
First, it is important to note that monkeys are far more intelligent than any other pet imaginable. Yes, animals such as dogs and cats are intelligent and capable of learning tricks, but the intellect of monkeys is substantially greater than that of cats and dogs.
The impressive amount of intelligence that monkeys possess means that they need a great deal of socialization and enrichment to thrive in a captive environment. Owners that only interact with a monkey only a time or two every day are doing a great disservice to their pet, as these animals require lots of interaction time with either owners or other monkeys.
Monkey Pet Trade
Unlike other animals that are regarded as pets, monkeys do not have much of a captive breeding population built up at this point. Yes, there are places where monkeys that are the offspring of captive individuals can be purchased, but there are also plenty of places that source monkeys from elsewhere.
In the absence of captive breeding programs to meet the demands of the monkey pet trade, those who distribute these primates have to find alternative options.
Unfortunately, individuals often resort to taking monkeys from their native habitats to keep up with the growing demand for these creatures to be pets.
This illegal capture of monkeys from the wild severely harms monkey populations throughout the world. Therefore, if you aren’t positive about the origins of a potential monkey pet, it is best to avoid supporting an operation that captures wild monkeys.