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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Tyra Viewers Warned: Monkey See, Monkey Do … Not Buy One!

Written by PETA | November 12, 2009
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Tyra Show

When it comes to weekday talk-show fare, it’s no surprise that I’m partial to Ellen and Oprah. Today, however, some props go out to Tyra Banks for following up on a feature that set off alarm bells here at PETA.

A few days ago, The Tyra Banks Show aired a segment about a woman who gushed about her “pet” capuchin monkey. Sure, capuchins are cute and smart, but the “Joe Blows” who buy baby monkeys soon realize that they cannot control the strong animals after they outgrow their diapers. Case in point: Oprah’s recent interview with Charla Nash, who barely survived an attack by her friend’s 15-year-old chimpanzee, Travis. And while capuchins are much smaller than chimpanzees, they are still very strong and very fast, and they have extremely sharp canines that can quickly do a great deal of damage to an unwitting person.

Consequently, many monkeys are discarded at pseudo-sanctuaries and shoddy roadside zoos because there simply aren’t enough reputable sanctuaries to care for them all. Some species can live to be well into their 50s, and many primates who are abandoned by their “owners” face decades of misery in appalling conditions.

We wrote to Tyra Banks to express our concern that some viewers might be tempted to purchase a monkey of their own after seeing the segment on her show. We’re heartened to learn that she’s added a warning on her Web site stating, “Please note, PETA has contacted the show and does not recommend keeping monkeys as pets.

Folks, please let other people know that when it comes to capuchins and other exotic animals, the most humane action is always: “Monkey see, monkey do … not buy one!”

Written by Karin Bennett

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  • Animal Rescuer says:

    The show also REAIRED today on December 29 2009. She did not mention at the beginning that people should not own monkeys. She did not refer anyone to her website. The same woman was on with her monkey. I am frankly disgusted.

  • Animal Rescuer says:

    Did anyone say ANYTHING about how the woman with the capuchin had ALL IT’S TEETH PULLED???? Dear god. She dresses the animal in clothes!! She should not be allowed by law to do this!!

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Tyra should check out the photos of Charla Nash both before and after Travis the chimp attacked her. She should then invite her to appear on her show just as Oprah did as a warning to those who think it would be fun to keep a primate as a pet. Small primates can inflict injuries that are just as devastating.

  • christina says:

    Cynthia I’d really like to know where you are getting your “facts”. Yes it is true that most dogs and cats living in homes have better and longer lives than stray animals in what you call “the wild”. However it has been proven…and quoted on this site many times…that many species of animals live much longer lives in their natural habitats than in zoos or other human run facilities even those run by responsible humans. Sadly I agree that exotic animals like chimps and monkeys will continue to be bred for animal testing labsunless we can get enough people to wake up and vote for testing to be illegal but people who breed exotic animals for pet stores and private sales will not be able to keep their businesses thriving if people don’t purchase the animals. It’s sad to say that you actually do more good by NOT buying the exotic animal in the pet store. Yes we all want to take that animal home and give it a good life but it simply perpetuates a horribly vicious cycle. And in response to your comment on shelter animals…I hope I am just readig it incorrectly because you almost sound like you are defending the puppy mills and breeders. Please correct me if I am wrong because there is an immense difference to a mongrel puppy taken from its mother and brought to the pound and a purebred puppy torn from a caged purebred and perpetually pregnant mother and shipped to a pet store.

  • Chris says:

    A note on her website? Hmmm just another sign that she is not nor will she ever be Oprah or Ellen

  • Cynthia says:

    Debbie You are wrong the hunting of them would not stop as they still a demand for them as Lab experiments or crappy Zoo captives or Circus performers. I have never gotten any animal from a breeder but don’t fool your self into thinking if you adopt a puppy or kitten from a shelter that it wasn’t taken away from its mother in much the same manner as those taken away from the wild either from the owner of the animal who birthed it or the shelter worker. All that aside it is a fact that any animal who is in the home of a RESPONSABLE pet owner live twice as long as those in the wild.

  • Debby says:

    Cynthia if caring people didn’t buy these little critters the hunting of babies in forest overseas and the breeding of them here would peter out until it was only a faint memory. Your type of thinking is what keeps puppy mills operational. Don’t buy them period.

  • Cynthia says:

    With any animal you want to own you should become educated on that animal. There ARE responsible pet owners out there who do have exotic pets and love them as if they have birthed them. Think about it if caring people do not buy them then they will end up as Lab experiments or at a crappy Zoo or Circus anyway. Granted it is horrible how they are taken from their mothers but puppies and kittens are ALSO taken away from their mothers even if you Adopt them from a shelter.

  • Nancy says:

    Monkies and other “exotic” animals should not be used as pets it’s cruel as all getout.

  • Bluebell says:

    Yeah seems a bit of a cop out. If she truly gives a damn her next show will highlight the miserable lives these monkeys can have when kept as pets.

  • Rebekah says:

    I agree. Most people who watch her show are probably not checking out her website regularly if at all.

  • NT says:

    Not good enough she should talk about it on her show. That small print on her website won’t do it.

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