Non-human primates have a strict social hierarchy. The dominant male of a macaque troop, for instance, is usually the first to eat at mealtimes, with males, a dominant female, and other females following in progression. Only the dominant male breeds at will, though he may let other males breed occasionally.
Monkeys treat their human family as the same sort of hierarchy. That means they will try to climb the social ladder, with tactics that naturally involve physical fights and biting. Human females will find it very difficult to establish dominance with a male monkey. And children are in the most danger.
These rules apply even to the smallest and seemingly most innocuous of non-human primates. "Even the smaller ones like marmosets, which are less than half a pound, have razor sharp teeth," Ms. Camp-Scott said.
Ms. Camp-Scott claims that she doesn't sell to people with children, and tries to discourage buyers as much as possible with some of the horror stories of monkey ownership. She notes one case in which a woman kept a monkey in a dirty, two-foot cage in an RV without air conditioning during a Texas summer.
Ms. Camp-Scott discovered the situation and reported it to the USDA, which then gave the owner 30 days to correct the conditions. Instead, she sold her monkey at an auction. Within hours of getting to its new home, the animal bit off and swallowed the fingers of a child, and was subsequently euthanized.
Many stories of monkey attacks recently have been reported in the media. A little over a week ago, a Chicago woman was found bleeding to death by her husband after she let her seven year-old, 25-pound macaque out of its cage to "play." Still in the hospital, the woman received over a hundred stitches, and will require plastic surgery.
The incident occurred three days before the Illinois legislature defeated a law proposing a ban on the private ownership of non-human primates, among other exotic pets.
But even in more sanguine cases, after about two years of raising monkeys, owners often end up with animals they simply can't control, and have to give up.
"Monkeys don't make good pets," said Ms. Camp-Scott, who admits she feels like a hypocrite for selling infant monkeys in order to support her numerous caged animals. "For most people, getting a monkey is a very big, expensive, and heart-breaking mistake."
"Really, I regret every monkey I put into the pet trade," Ms. Camp-Scott said.
"The mother mourns, screams, will fight to the death for her infant, and often has to be tranquilized-in fact, the whole troop will fight," Ms. Camp-Scott said, noting that many traders will lie to buyers about the trauma caused by taking an infant. "The mother, as well as the whole troop will be depressed for months afterwards, and if they see the person who took [the infant]-no matter how much time has passed-they remember, and show their hatred."
She recalls one case of a female monkey that kept dropping to the ground on its belly whenever her husband went near its cage. Thinking the behavior unusual, she investigated, and found out that the female had an infant, and was falling on top of it to hide it. Ms Camp-Scott hadn't even known of the animal's pregnancy
Cheryl Hochstatler, a trader who also works at a car dealership in Bremen, Indiana, agrees.
"I couldn't live without them, " Ms. Hochstatler said. "They are so extremely intelligent, affectionate, loving, and playful."
Ms. Hochstatler, like Ms. Camp-Scott, tries to ward off buyers with warnings about the perils of ownership, and considers herself a responsible seller-providing health certificates, a requirement for United States
Department of Agriculture certified sellers, as well as disease test results.
Despite the warnings, both sellers acknowledge that the demand for non-human primate pets far outstrips the supply. Ms. Camp-Scott has a waiting list of over 300.
But the ultimate result of that demand is a host of psychologically damaged monkeys that end up in sanctuaries and facilities like Ms. Camp-Scott's-caught in a conflict between their social identification with human beings and the instinctual behavior of their own species.
Information found here