The Reality of the Primate Pet Trade

We have some very sad news.

Camacho, the rescued baby capuchin monkey, died on the 29th of August while in the temporary custody of the wildlife authorities. This happened just before he was supposed to be sent to a rescue centre where he would have begun his rehabilitation.

While in custody, he received lots of medical attention but still succumbed to his illness, which had caused intestinal ulcers and perforations. We cannot be sure what caused these issues, but it is likely that the illness began before his rescue.

Camacho was a 4-5 month old baby that had been kept as a pet, having been taken from his mother in the forest. In the wild, capuchin monkeys stay with their mothers for approximately 2 years, during which time they are carried, fed, and taught how to survive, as well as cleaned and shown the group territory.

Keeping primates as pets is very traumatic, especially the maternal separation when captured. In the majority of cases the mother, and sometimes other group members, are shot.

On top of this, it is very hard to provide adequate conditions for the infant’s survival. It is estimated that for every animal which survives to become a pet, 8 or 9 others died during different parts of the illegal traffic stream. For these and other reasons the trade and keeping of wildlife is illegal!