Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets? What You Need to Know! Finger Monkeys have been getting more popular as exotic pets, but they may not be a good fit for you. Not yet domesticated and are wild, these monkeys are best suited for professional organizations since they don’t make good pets. To see why, read on, or check out our guide.
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What Is a Finger Monkey?
Finger Monkeys are small and adorable maligned primates. They are considered the smallest species of primate, coming in at only being 4.6 to 6.2 inches long excluding the tail. In fact, they have a plethora of nicknames such as Thumb Monkeys, Little Lions, and Pocket Monkeys.
In addition to their scientific name of pygmy marmoset, they live in the treetops of forests in South America. Like all Marmosets, they excel on primate size when it comes down to their most nimble features in terms of intelligence and deftness.
Their Life in The Wild
Finger Monkeys live in groups that are led by a male, female, and their offspring. The size of a group can range between two to ten members. Male and female Finger Monkeys usually have one offspring each year, but there is sometimes an additional male to help take care of them while they are young.
Female Finger Monkeys give birth twice a year and always give birth to twins. Some babies will be born with less than three others, but this type of birth is less common within the species.Unlike many animals, the males provide exclusive care for the newborn after it’s been weaned from its mother for about two weeks. In total, Finger Monkey babies live about 12-16 years in the wild before reaching maturity at around 22 years old, which jumps up to around 30 years old in captivity. But most research finds that only 25% of these babies ever reach full maturity.
The Controversy Behind Owning Finger Monkeys
Now, let’s talk about owning Finger Monkeys and the controversy surrounding it.
Reasons People Like Finger Monkeys
It’s no surprise that the demand for Finger Monkeys is increasing. This adorable species is so small, people can hardly resist them! Another perk of this small size is that you can actually own one without spending a large amount of money. You’ll still be paying thousands for their purchase but their food requirements are much lower than other monkeys and primates.
The Downsides of Finger Monkey Ownership
Finger Monkeys may look cute and cuddly, but they’re not domesticated and as a result, may exhibit behavior that is unattractive to captive living. When cared for in captivity, Finger Monkey can become depressed, bored, or even more aggressive.
These behaviors are really worrisome since Finger Monkeys tend to be aggressive as is (even in the wild) and even throw their feces when angry. When two female Finger Monkeys are housed together, it becomes difficult for them to function. They will fight, destroy your home or scratch you if made unhappy.
Not to mention, you’ll have to buy at least two Finger Monkeys just to make them happy. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the means of affording that many monkeys and it causes them to only purchase one. This increases the monkey’s depression, boredom and anger causing issues with living in captivity making it difficult for anyone who has them or plans on purchasing them in the future
Do Finger Monkeys Make Good Pets?
This controversy will only get more intense. The question is, would you want to own one? We don’t think the answer is a simple yes or no response. Primarily, we find it unethical to own a Finger Monkey because domesticated lifestyles often lead to monkey abuse.
Even if the abuse doesn’t come from malicious intentions, there may be too many difficulties and drawbacks in owning a Finger Monkey pet. Since they are so cute, these monkeys are not ideal as pets. However, you can still have your finger on the pulse of this topic by visiting the zoo, watching Animal Planet, or looking up silly videos online.
Who Are Finger Monkeys Right For?
Finger Monkeys are not suitable for regular pet owners. They need very specific living conditions, and most people do not have the expertise to care for these exotic creatures.
It’s more suitable for professionals with those specialized skills. For example, Finger Monkeys are perfect for a zoo that needs an attractive attraction but that also has ample resources for their needs. Only professionals who can maintain a great level of care will be able to take on such a job
How to Care for a Finger Monkey
It’s important to let your Finger Monkey have access to a large enclosure where there is a lot of climbing, swinging and entertainment. The larger the enclosure, the more likely it will be for your pet to thrive. It should be shaded in direct sunlight and have plenty of access to food, water and healthy treats.
Baby Finger Monkeys, like all monkeys, need a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and insects. We highly recommend you have a vet on standby to take care of your one-of-a-kind monkey should you happen to get sick.
Instead of bringing a Finger Monkey into your home, you might want to consider giving them a home at an accredited zoo or professional industry. As wild animals, they’re not meant to be kept as pets. However, they need a full-sized enclosure that replicates their natural habitat and other monkey friends to be happy monkeys.