I ran across an article on what becomes of monkeys and exotic animals when their owners are no longer in the picture. From globeandmail.com:

Mike Davies, one of the caregivers, points to Mr. Jenkins, a black-handed spider monkey who swings with incredible ease – grace, even – in the confines of his cage. But don’t get too close.

“I’ve come out of here black and blue all up one arm from Mr. Jenkins,” he confesses. It seems the little geezer, who was taken away from his mother at too young an age, specializes in the old pinch-and-twist as a way of getting attention.

It’s not an easy life being a monkey keeper. In an ornery mood, monkeys will bite or scratch. They will pull off your moles while they are grooming you, unaware that it will cause you to perform a jig of pain.

The marmosets, squirrel-sized guys with teeny humanoid faces, may even ejaculate on your head. “That’s why I always wear a cap,” Mr. Davies says helpfully.

This is the most honest definition of a punkey I’ve seen.

Punkeys [puhnk-ees] – noun, pluralkeys, verb, –keyed, -keying. (noun) 1. Teeny Humanoids that may ejaculate on your head.

However, the flip side – being a monkey – is no piece of banana cake either. Sherri Delaney, a police officer who runs the sanctuary as “her other day job,” works with a small team of people to try to ensure her charges are fed, clean, and mentally and physically stimulated. But it’s an uphill battle.

“If you or I were in a 12-by-12-foot jail cell … their plight is very much the same,” Ms. Delaney says.

Ms. Delaney’s primates come from laboratories, roadside zoos and misguided owners. Naturally feisty and easily bored in captivity, monkeys are far from being ideal pets, although a devoted subculture of owners dress them in diapers and clothes and refer to them as “monkids.”

But nobody with a monkid banks on catching hepatitis from their baby, or receiving a face mauling. The results of this sort of mismatch are predictably tragic: The animals are restrained further (like one resident Japanese macaque, who was confined to a laundry basket when she misbehaved) or abandoned.

“These are wild animals. They are not pets,” Ms. Delaney says. But dozens of childless women posting Internet pleas for a baby monkey, along with the existence of a cottage industry of monkey seamstresses, suggest they have some very big shoes to fill.

Monkey seamstresses?? They can sew? Holy crap! Even our sweatshops are being outsourced! How good can a monkey sew a Chinese frog or a darning stitch? I doubt they’re very good at all.

Like our own human punks that we all know, early development is critical. We need to nip it in the bud before the monkeys become punkeys.

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