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How to Keep Capuchin Monkeys

Capuchin Monkeys

Capuchins are a New World monkey, belonging to the genus Cebus. Their home territories range from Central America to northern Argentina. They were named after a group of monks, the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin -- it was thought that the monkeys' beige and brown coats resembled the robes of the Franciscan monks.

Adult capuchins can reach a length of 12 to 22 inches, and weigh between 2 and 3 pounds. In the wild, capuchins live in extended social groups of some 10 to 35 animals. Like most New World monkeys, capuchins are diurnal. They are active in the daytime, except for a midday nap, and sleep at night. Capuchins are kept by humans as pets and also as aides for disabled people.


    • 1

      Buy or build the monkey an adequate living space. As a general rule, the larger, the better for the monkey. The cage should be tall and spacious, with enough room for the monkey to climb around -- at least 6 feet high. The cage can be kept either indoors or outdoors, though some climates might restrict this. Stock the cage with elements that resemble a natural habitat -- grasses, rocks, even small bushes.

    • 2

      Feed the monkey correctly. In the wild, capuchins are omnivorous, and eat a variety of fruit, nuts, insects and eggs. You can buy what is known as "primate diet" at some commercial pet stores, and then supplement this with fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Your monkey will also love insects, such as crickets and grasshoppers. You may want to consider vitamin supplements for good health.

    • 3

      Stimulate your monkey. You can buy all sorts of toys and build play spaces for your monkey -- they love to climb anything. However, it is more important that you don't neglect your pet. Capuchins are social and emotional animals. Play with him when you are at home, take him out to your back yard or garden or for walks in the neighborhood.

    • 4

      Take your capuchin for regular check-ups. The capuchin should undergo an examination every year by a veterinarian experienced with treating monkeys, with a special emphasis on parasite infections.



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