Ever since “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Night at the Museum,” the capuchin monkeys have gained popularity. You know how it is when Hollywood holds a prop… everyone follows. Another highlight about capuchin monkeys is when a late-night TV news program featured the monkey species as a service primate, as they’ve been trained by a non-profit organization that helps people with disability. But do capuchin monkeys really make a good exotic pet?

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Capuchin monkeys got their name from their looks: their color pattern resembles the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (O.S.F.C.) from Europe. The extremities and the body are darkly colored by either black or brown; the face, neck, and chest area are lightly colored by white to light brown; the top of the head is darkly colored resembling the hood of the Capuchin friars. This pet new world monkey is a small primate weighing only 2.5 pounds fully matured reaching up to 30 to 56 inches in height with a tail that is as long as its body.

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Housing Exotic Pet Capuchin Monkey


Capuchin monkeys live high up on trees jumping from one branch to the next in search of fun and food. They sleep at night wedged between tree branches undercover some vegetation that serves as protection from the elements.

In captivity, exotic pet capuchin monkeys should be housed in a large, tall cage if the animal is not tamed enough to be let in a room. The cage should have enough construction for climbing: ladder, vertical and horizontal bars, dead tree trunks, and other safe playground toys for kids. The animal can’t live in temperate climate, so the temperature and humidity have to be controlled for an outdoor cage.

Feeding Exotic Pet Capuchin Monkey


Exotic pets are naturally harder to feed than common pets. In the wild, capuchin monkeys eat roots, flowers, ripe fruits, seeds, vegetation, insects, and other small, crawling animals that live high up on trees. In captivity, they can be given feeder insects like crickets, grasshoppers, and small lizards. They can also eat tropical fruits and vegetables available from the market, depending on the taste of the monkey.

Another good food source of well-balanced diet for leaf-eating primates is the Marion Zoological Leafeater’s Diet Biscuit, which you can order online.

Do Capuchin Monkeys Make Good Pet


Regardless how Hollywood dresses up capuchin monkeys in the movies and how TV news shines a limelight on the exotic pet, most wildlife experts say capuchin monkeys don’t make good pets. Their 15 minutes of tame expire as soon as they reached sexual maturity. A lot of exotic pet capuchin monkey owners are unloading their pets or surrendering them to zookeepers because the animals have become more than enough for them to handle.

So unless you have the money and the right veterinary service that can neuter or spay a capuchin monkey, maybe it’s best to leave the exotic animal to the right place… in the jungle.

Exotic Pet Capuchin Monkey Trivia


Tamed and highly trained capuchin monkeys are used as service animals for the disabled in the U.S. But the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Humane Society of the United States don’t recommend this practice. They all believe that the animal is too wild to work or live with humans.

Before thinking about purchasing or adopting a capuchin monkey, ask the Department of Wildlife Rescue in your area because some states in the U.S. (and other countries in the world) ban the private ownership of pet primates. In the U.S., these states are the following: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. Other states may require you to get a permit or bond, aside from exotic pet insurance, to own a capuchin monkey.

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