I am raising funds to build a primate sanctuary in southern Wisconsin and I recently had a table at the Atwood Summerfest. At the table, we had a gorilla costume see: http://www.amberdragonflypress.com/Atwood07/index.htm
to help get people over to our table. One nice woman I met said that a woman was walking around with a real pet monkey (the same woman from yesterday's news) and some people were giving her a hard time, but other people were excited to see a live monkey.
Later on, the monkey owner stopped at our table and said "you should have a monkey here to help raise funds." I said "we aim to provide care to the monkeys in a naturalistic environment and socialize them with each other." She understood and I gave her a pamphlet - she said she would contact me.
I told the people around me that I was concerned about Pet monkeys b/c the instant they bite someone, that means big trouble. Monkeys typically lash out at their owners or someone else when they reach 6-8 years of age and then have to be sent to a sanctuary.
Turns out pet monkeys are filling up sanctuaries very quickly. I have heard of sanctuaries turning away research monkeys that need to be retired b/c they are full and they don't have the money to provide the lifetime care for all these monkeys in need of retirement.
We will need to establish our sanctuary and others across the country to deal with this overflow of monkeys who are coming from the exotic pet trade, the entertainment industry, and research facilities.
I was not surprised to hear that someone got bit by her adorable capuchin monkey. I hope he is reunited with his owner as they seemed to have a good social relationship, - and it hurt me to see her in tears like that - sending her monkey off to quarantine. My advice to everyone: Please, even though it may look like fun, don't get a pet monkey!
I would much rather wear a gorilla suit and walk around town with a sign vs. exploiting a monkey for advertisement.
-so if you see a gorilla, it is likely me shamelessly promoting primatesinc.com