March 15, 2023

According to reports, a monkey kept as a “pet” in Oklahoma was shot dead hours after escaping from a home and attacking a woman—ripping out fistfuls of her hair and nearly tearing off her ear. Around the same time, a “pet” zebra was reportedly shot dead in Ohio after biting a man, who almost lost his arm as a result. These violent incidents are further proof that monkeys and other wild animals are unpredictable and powerful and that they should never be kept as “pets.”

Exotic animals of all kinds are not playthings or props for humans. Keep reading to learn more.

The Problems With Keeping Monkeys as ‘Pets’

Our fellow primates are intelligent, curious, and highly social animals with complex physical and psychological needs that can never be met in human homes.

Exotic animals kept as “pets” are often bred in captivity by unscrupulous dealers, torn away from their mothers as babies, sold to anyone with a big enough bank account, denied any chance at a natural life, and forced to do whatever their owner chooses.

Taking baby primates away from their mothers prematurely is a practice that’s cruel to both the baby and the mother. It denies infants the maternal care and nurturing that they need for normal development.

The stress inherent in social isolation and living in an unnatural environment can lead “pets” such as monkeys and zebras to bite humans. As a result, many “pet” exotic animals are dumped at roadside zoos or are surrendered to sanctuaries, which are often filled to capacity and have long waiting lists.

How to Help Monkeys: Report a Suspicious Situation

PETA encourages anyone who sees exotic animals being exploited in their neighborhood or on social media to forward the evidence to authorities and to us, as many animal advocates did with celebrity musicians Chris Brown and Swae Lee, both of whom unlawfully possessed monkeys. These reports helped PETA and the feds bring down a prolific exotic-animal breeder.