About 15 years ago I walked into an exotic pet store that specialized in lizards. I used to go there every week due to my interest in lizards. One day I noticed a small cage, the size of a hamster cage, on a shelf which caught my attention. Little that I know that this was about the open up a whole new world for me. The world of primate ownership! I wasn’t sure what I saw so I asked the store owner. A few minutes later I found that this was a common marmoset. I went straight to the bank, took the money of my account and bought myself the cutest critter I ever saw. And so the adventure began…
The biggest problem was of course that I didn’t know anything about marmosets and sadly enough, neither did the store owner. I went to the library for more information but wasn’t really able to find to much information on how to keep a marmoset as a pet. I named her Gismo since she reminded me of a little gremlin. When I first had Gismo, she used to watch tv with me, eat with me, sit next to me while I was on my computer, or hang out in a tree outside in our yard. It wasn’t until I was at a zoo where they had several marmosets, that I realized the difference in behavior. The marmosets at the zoo where so extremely active while my marmoset would basically stay in the same spot. I talked to one of the zookeeper who invited me over to his house since he had a lot of information on primate care. I found out that my diet I was giving my marmoset was very wrong and that marmosets were (like all primates) very social animals. After drastically changing her diet, you could tell she looked much healthier but she still wasn’t able to climb. I assume this was because she was always kept in a small cage and never had the opportunity to climb.
I decided to buy her an adult mate to see if this would help change this behavior. After the introduction period, Gismo and Gizzy quickly became friends. Gizzy was an adult marmoset and wasn’t tame at all. Gizzy would take food out of my hand but never allowed me to touch him. Within days Gismo’s behavior changed as well and while I used to be able to carry Gismo around all the time, she no longer permitted me to handle her. She learned to climb like a pro in no time and you could tell she was much happier which in the end was truly all I cared about. Very shortly after that I build a very large indoor cage and a very large outdoor with attached indoor enclosure for the summer months.
Since I had such a hard time finding information related to primate care online, I decided to create a site that talks about the rearing and caring of marmosets. Later on I expanded my site to all other primate species commonly kept by human primates. My goal was to create a place where primate owner could share information with other primate owners and this to benefit the well being of all primates kept in captivity.