Recently a private primate owner decided to post on one of the lists I belong to.
The request was for someone to write on the positive aspects of primate ownership.
Is there such a thing?
Most of us involved in professional work with animals don’t think so.
So although there might be exceptions to the rule–most of us don’t think there are many.
There are at least sixty primate sanctuaries struggling to deal with the private primate pet issue and then there are the zoos who consistently get calls from people asking them to take their “pet _____.” (Just insert about any species of primate or wild animal you want.)
Anyway, I pondered the issue of how an article would be a disservice to any primate species because those who support private ownership would use it to market the idea that primates are good pets.
Most of you already know that I don’t support the ownership of wild animal pets.
People have trouble enough managing their dogs and cats!
Then it happened. Someone posted a pretty rational reply but the private owner came back swinging.
To get away from the brewing debate another professional had this to say:
“…Most people on this list would see this argument primarily as an ethical one – primates simply should be in the wild because they are intelligent animals with rich and complex social lives, they have an important ecological role to play in their native habitats, and they are amazingly inspiring animals who deserve to be respected on their own terms, and in their own environment…”
There are always positive and negative examples of animal management at any place housing animals. It doesn’t matter whether or not it is a zoological facility, private sanctuary, animal rescue organization, or a private home.
However, the ethical principle for most professionals is this statement shared with the list:
A wild animal is not a pet for humans, and whether or not you can successfully make it into your pet is irrelevant, you should not try.
Enough said…but leave your thoughts below.