Author Archive

Are Monkeys Fragile in Captivity

November 21st, 2017

By Mary Lynn Campbell

monkeys in captivity
“Silly Willy” (age 14 weeks)

Welcome once again to this month’s post on the Primate Care Site. This “Special Topic” is an important subject for us to discuss due to the extreme number of monkeys who are loosing their lives every year to either a sickness or by a life taking accident. We will try to explore some of the reasons why this seems to be happening throughout the monkey owners community.

» Read more: Are Monkeys Fragile in Captivity

What about Leads and Neck Collars?

August 17th, 2017

By Mary Lynn Campbell

neck collar capuchin
“Leroy” (age 17) is “Sissy Lou La-La’s” new boyfriend

This topic is a very important one for all monkey caregivers to know about. Many of you may feel pulled by other people’s beliefs or opinions about what is the right way for you to tether your monkey for safety.

Networking on Facebook groups and other internet networks is absolutely wonderful for learning about how other monkey owners live with their monkeys but when it comes to a controversial subject like this, the lines can be drawn by judgments and opinions. It is my job to give you the facts about this subject so you can draw your own conclusions.

So, with your flexible mind I ask you to bear with me as I give you true facts and stories that will help you gain the information that you will need for making your own decisions about your monkey’s safety equipment. So, let’s begin our journey into this “Special Topic.”

» Read more: What about Leads and Neck Collars?

My Monkey Plate – A visual Aid for Feeding Your Primate

August 12th, 2017

By Janice Metzger

monkey_diet

Feeding a nonhuman primate can be complicated. How many biscuits should you feed? What kind of vegetables? Are they getting enough fiber? What IS fiber?! Am I feeding too much? Am I feeding enough? It’s no wonder that most of the questions we primate owners have about caring for our monkeys are related to diet.

Mazuri, a leading manufacturer of commercial primate diets, recommends that 50% of the primate diet be made up of biscuits and the other 50% made up of everything else that our monkey eats; such as vegetables, fruits, browse, nuts, proteins, etc. BUT, animal diets are always measured by weight, not by volume. To make this even more difficult, foods are measured on a dry weight basis. This means that you must calculate what the food weighs minus the moisture, or water content, in the food. There are numerous complicated formulas for doing this, but most of us in private ownership do not have access to this information. So, what do we do?

Fortunately for us, Mazuri recently published a shortcut on their website that can be calculated easily with a kitchen scale. Mazuri recommends a diet of 30% biscuits, 70% other foods by actual weight (not dry weight). This shortcut considers that vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, proteins and browse have a higher water content than dry biscuits. So, if we were to somehow squeeze all the water out of a diet of 30% biscuits/70% other foods, the result would be a diet that is approximately 50% biscuits and 50% other foods by dry weight, the industry standard.

Still confused? Are you pulling your hair out and screaming, “JUST SHOW ME HOW TO FEED MY MONKEY!”?

» Read more: My Monkey Plate – A visual Aid for Feeding Your Primate

Get a rehome … they said

July 14th, 2017

dora cinnamon capuchin

I can’t believe it but it has been over 7 years since we purchased Benji, a male cinnamon capuchin, from an animal auction.  We’ve had him since he was 4 months old and while challenging at times, I truly enjoy spending time with him every single day whether it is “chase the monkey” or “cuddle time”.  Just like their human counterpart, monkeys are very social animals so spending lots of time with them is crucial to keep them happy and healthy.  Since humans can’t really replace the relationship they have with their own kind, we were looking for another cinnamon capuchin for quite some time because lets face it, they get bored so easily at the moments we’re not spending time with them.  When trying to find a companion, the biggest chance for success is by pairing them with the same kind, same sex so we were in essence looking for another male cinnamon capuchin between the ages of 4-7.  Given the fact that there aren’t that many cinnamon capuchins available in the USA, we knew we might have to be a bit flexible.

» Read more: Get a rehome … they said

Preventative Health Care for Primates

April 26th, 2017

By Janice Metzger

 

vet visit

Primates in captivity can live well beyond their natural life expectancy. This is due in part to good preventative veterinary care. Meeting our primates’ health maintenance needs can help extend their lives and keep them healthy and active long into their senior years.

Primates routinely must be immobilized for veterinary examinations and procedures. Fear of having our primates anesthetized often discourages us from seeking preventative veterinary care for them. Healthy monkeys tolerate anesthesia very well and rarely have complications. When a primate has side effects or dies under anesthesia it typically is when the animal is sick and is being sedated to diagnose or treat an illness. Because primates instinctively hide symptoms of illness, by the time we seek treatment for them they may be very ill and at greater risk of complications from anesthesia. Elective well-monkey visits with your vet can identify potential health risks, prevent disease and keep your monkey healthy and safe.

William Kirk Suedmeyer, DVM, Dipl. ACZM is Director of Animal Health and Research at the Kansas City Zoo. Dr. Suedmeyer spoke on the topic of preventative health care for primates in captivity at the USDA Primate Symposium 2017. Primates at the Kansas City Zoo undergo a routine physical exam every two years. The following elements are included in their health maintenance examination. A routine physical exam for our companion primates may include some or all the same elements.

» Read more: Preventative Health Care for Primates

Training your Monkey

April 24th, 2017

By Mary Lynn Campbell

monkey training
Sissy Lou-La-La

Welcome friends to the Primate Care site.  This month we will be talking about the issue of training.  I certainly do not call myself a trainer but there are many others who do now in the world of monkeys. It is my opinion that you must first teach and (might I add the word demand) “Monkey Manners Training” before you can begin to train your monkey to do other things such as tricks.

Many years ago, I purchased my first dog. She had been sold back to the pet shop due to the owners having to move, and they could not take her. She was a wild little thing and had not been shown any manners at all. I was so excited to have my very own little Yorkie. She and my husband hit it off first thing and he started teaching her to jump from the floor to get a piece of cheese from his mouth and I of course, demanded that she learn how to go outside to do her business and to calm down and learn how to be held.

» Read more: Training your Monkey

Browse In The Primate Diet

April 5th, 2017

By Janice Metzger

bamboo browse primate diet

“Browse”, as it relates to primate diets, is plant material such as leaves, vines, berries, twigs and even branches. Wild-living primates consume many types of plant materials that are native to the regions in which they live. Browse is an important part of our captive-living primates’ diets as well. Though we do not have access to the native plants of our primates’ ancestral homes, many common plants in the U.S. are suitable to be fed as browse to our primates.

Browse supplies more fiber than even the high-fiber commercial biscuits, and more fiber than many of the vegetables that we feed to our primates. Fiber is an essential element in our primates’ diet as their “gut,” or intestinal tract utilizes fiber to properly digest and metabolize the food they eat. Primates need substantially more fiber in their diets than humans do. Not only does browse supply essential fiber, but is also a source of enrichment as our monkeys explore and manipulate the plant materials; picking the leaves and berries off the stems and stripping the bark from the branches.

» Read more: Browse In The Primate Diet

The Tragic Story Of Benji

March 20th, 2017

By Mike Daly

pet capuchin mike daly

The story you are about to read is true. It actually happened to Mike and Darlene Daly, a middle aged couple who lives in Redmond, Oregon.  After the tragedy in Oregon occurred the Daly’s hired a private detective to investigate the facts of this case and all of the details mentioned in the story are true and can be verified.

This story is directed to all pet lovers who bring these pets into their home and treat these pets like one of their family. There is a segment of society out there who masquerade as professional people and then turn around and commit the most barbaric acts imaginable under the guise if being in the public interest. Such an incident happened to the Daly’s in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in the early part of April 1995. They wrote this story with the hope some other family may avoid the horror and pain they went through. This is their story…

» Read more: The Tragic Story Of Benji

Opie, a great rehomed monkey story

March 3rd, 2017

By Mary Lynn Campbell

opie rehomed capuchin

The story that you are about to read is an amazing story which we people who have been rehomers of monkeys could only dream about happening. We hope that it will give all of you a reason to not only learn more about becoming a caregiver of a rehomed monkey, but also to help you understand more about these wonderful creatures ability to love unconditionally as we humans do.

Let’s begin our story with a list.
» Read more: Opie, a great rehomed monkey story

Foraging for fun and fitness

January 25th, 2017

By Janice Metzger

foraging ideas for monkeys

Wild-living monkeys spend the majority of their time searching for food and consuming it. Foraging activities take up the largest part of their day, followed by play and social grooming. Foraging activities provide opportunities for primates in the wild to interact with one another and work together to obtain food. Foraging affords an opportunity for exercise and muscle building, which keeps the wild-living monkey’s caloric intake and energy expenditure ratio in balance.
Working for food, or foraging, is mentally stimulating for our captive-living primates as well. Providing opportunities for our monkeys to search out and forage for food helps to reduce boredom and encourages healthy movement and activity. Anything we can do to make our monkeys’ food more difficult to obtain and consume stimulates higher order thinking skills such as problem-solving and strategizing. Placing foraging devices high in the enclosure or outside it encourages climbing, stretching and reaching.

» Read more: Foraging for fun and fitness