Many of us have seen photos of people with their primate pets by their side. If they can keep one, so can we, right? Sadly, that’s not quite the case. It turns out there are plenty of reasons why primates shouldn’t really be kept as pets – and they’re not all that we think.
They can spread illnesses
Would you believe that primates can actually spread illnesses between themselves and humans? That’s right; as well as being a risk to people in the house, keeping a primate can also have an impact on the local community. To top it off, not all vets know how to deal with primates, so you might soon learn that you have no way to help your poorly pet.
They may be aggressive
Just because primates look cute and cuddly when they are young, that can all change as soon as they start to grow and mature. Most primates live in large groups in the wild. These groups are made of a hierarchy. It may not take much for your pet to spot and weakness as they try to climb their way to the top. This could lead to aggressive behavior and someone getting hurt if they accidentally get in the way.
Primates don’t always thrive
Primates are typically used to thousands of acres of forest and open land where they can explore and thrive with their families. Sadly, we can’t recreate their natural environment. A lot of primates spend too much time kept in cages that are too small or trained to perform tricks when they want to be swinging through the trees and enjoying the sunshine on their backs. Although some love their lives as pets, not all of them take to the change quite so easily.
They can become stressed
Unfortunately, many young primates are taken from their mothers in the wild. This can be highly stressful for all of the animals involved. Plus, primates are used to living in large families where everyone plays their own role. While most live with families, it’s not the same as their natural environment. It might not be long before your primate gets even more stressed and may even become aggressive through frustration.
It can impact the environment
As well as all of the health and emotional reasons that primates shouldn’t really be kept as pets, welcoming them into our homes also has a huge impact on the environment. Many wild populations of these primates are struggling. Taking more from the wild to keep as pets isn’t helping the situation. Primates also play a vital role in the ecosystem. Having less of the in the wild means that other species are starting to struggle and suffer as a result.
Sure, primates are adorable and look like they would make perfect pets. Sadly, welcoming one as a pet might not be the best idea, after all. Primates were born in the wild, and it’s probably best they stay there, too. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can adopt or fund primates to help the species.