Gallant Baby Capuchin Monkey

We raise healthyCapuchin Monkeys

ABOUT THIS

BREED

Capuchin monkey, (genus Cebus), also called sapajou, common Central and South American primate found in tropical forest from Nicaragua to Paraguay. Capuchins, considered among the most intelligent of the New World monkeys, are named for their “caps” of hair, which resemble the cowls of Capuchin Monks. These monkeys are round-headed and stockily built, with fully haired prehensile tails and opposable thumbs. The body is 30–55 cm (12–22 inches) long, with a tail of about the same length. Coloration ranges from pale to dark brown or black, with white facial markings in some of the four species.

Capuchins go about in noisy troops consisting of several adults and young. They frequent the tops of tall forest trees but roam throughout the vertical range of their habitat from forest floor to canopy. A troop’s home range covers 50–100 hectares (124–247 acres), and individuals travel about 3 km (1.9 miles) per day within the range. Very active during the day, these monkeys sometimes forage with Squirrel Monkeys, feeding on fruit, other vegetable matter, and small animals. The capuchin diet is quite broad, encompassing over 95 plant species in some areas, but palm fruits are preferred in particular by capuchins; stronger individuals even smash the nuts to get at the insides. At times, capuchins will raid plantations and farms for oranges, corn, and other food.

Capuchin Monkey Behavior and Temperament

Capuchins—considered the smartest of the New World monkeys—are diurnal (active during the day), social, and territorial. They spend most of their waking hours searching for food, urinating to mark their territory, and hanging out in trees. Most capuchin monkey owners use diapers for the monkey’s entire life and keep them on leashes in and out of the house for both the safety of the monkey and the public.

This practice is another debatable issue, and few veterinarians will perform the procedure.

Housing the Capuchin Monkey

In the wild, capuchins swing from tree to tree, something that most home enclosures don’t permit. The lack of natural habitat in a home setting raises much controversy regarding keeping these monkeys at all. Typically, there isn’t nearly enough space or foliage in an average yard to allow the primate proper exercise.

That said, the bigger the enclosure, the better. And if you do decide to house a capuchin, make sure it has plenty of trees to swing and jump from, provide a shaded area for shelter from the elements, and be sure it’s monkey-proofed. Even healthy and happy monkeys are curious, and a breakout is inevitable if given the time and an outlet.

Common Health Problems

Capuchins, like other primates, can transmit certain diseases to humans, the most notable being hepatitis and rabies. Monkeys are also natural hosts of herpes B (or monkey B) virus, which can cause fatal encephalomyelitis in people. And monkeys commonly develop latent, lifelong infections that can be transmitted to people via scratches and bites.

Capuchins can become infected with common human ailments since their immune systems are not as robust as ours. Many pet capuchins develop diabetes due to improper nutrition. Like humans, your pet monkey should have regular blood screenings to monitor glucose and cholesterol levels closely.

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