By Mary Lynn Campbell
Thomas and Marina, my nephew and niece
This posting of “Safety-First” is one of the most controversial subjects between new monkey caregivers and the experienced monkey caregivers. It is my wish to share truth and good information through my own experiences and networking with other monkey caregivers, breeders, rescue facilities, and vets.
I think the best way to address this topic is to start by saying that I totally understanding why you first time monkey caregivers choose to disagree when an experienced monkey caregiver tells you that monkeys are not recommended with children. I honestly understand why you can’t phantom it ever being possible that your precious little monkey could ever become hurtful to their playmates and family members. I also understand that you and your family are raising your special baby together as a family member and that your family members have devoted hours and hours of their time in teaching it manners, word commands and what is off limits. I understand that you have read books about raising monkeys, become part of monkey owners groups, and even become best friends with other monkey people. I understand that you feel that you are doing everything so perfect that there will never be a problem with your monkey and your children.
Now to you experienced monkey caregivers who feel that you must share with new caregivers about the potential issues that could arise when monkeys are around children. I understand that years ago you were one of those people that bought a monkey when you were still raising your young children. I understand that you have heard stories from others or how you’ve experienced firsthand how monkeys and kids don’t always play well together. Maybe you even had to go so far that you ended up re-homing your monkey because of problems with your monkey and your own children or your grandchildren. I understand that your monkey had to stay in his cage most of the time when children were around since you were concerned somebody could get hurt. I understand about the love that you feel for both your children and your monkey but changes happened and decisions had to be made for your precious monkey.
Now, everyone knows that I am able to see both sides of this issue so let’s discuss this topic a bit further.