Capuchin Monkeys are generally between nine and twelve pounds and up to 22 inches long. They are generally cream colored around the face and shoulders with darker hair on the rest of their bodies. They live to the age of about 25 years old in the wild, but may live to be 45 years old in captivity. This means that owning a Capuchin is a serious commitment that will likely last longer than the responsibilities associated with raising a human to maturity!
Don’t make the mistake of bringing home a Capuchin without checking first to see if it is legal to own one in your state and city. If you need a permit or license, make sure that you take care of that before you bring your little friend home. Otherwise, you could have serious legal problems and problems getting proper veterinary care since licensed vets are not allowed to treat illegal exotic pets.
Capuchin monkeys will have a series of behaviors based on age. At approximately 5 years old, a monkey will reach maturity and could exhibit poor behavior based on their changing social needs. It is important to understand the life cycle of a monkey before you bring one home because this long term commitment requires dealing with the, ‘teen years’ and beyond. Monkeys are not domesticated animals and even if they bond with you and have proper training, they will likely have a wild streak that should be managed with the respect a wild animal deserves.
There are commercial foods designed specifically for monkeys that can be fed along with fruits and vegetables. While monkeys can have a few treats, they should not have many foods outside of their general diet.
If possible it is best to have a large enclosure, and if needed (a heated) indoor cage. When building the enclosure keep safety in mind because primates are very curious creatures, and that could land them in trouble. If kept in a stagnate environment they can experience boredom and a drop in activity, so it is best to change up the environment from time to time to keep your little monkey curious and active.
Primates, including adorable Capuchin monkeys, are prone to infectious diseases that can be passed to humans. They often carry herpes B and can pass encephalomyelitis to humans; a serious and potentially fatal illness. Many of the illnesses carried by primates are passed to humans through scratches and bites.
A primate must be respected as a wild animal even if it resides peacefully with you and your family. Take care to properly train the Capuchin monkey from an early age, get proper medical treatment, and be aware of the dangers so that you can protect yourself and your family from potential problems.