Exotic Animals Are Not ‘Pets,’ Chris Brown Learns From PETA, Wildlife Officials

Published by Katherine Sullivan.

Exotic animals are not “pets”—a memo that Chris Brown apparently missed. In December 2017, the singer posted a video to Instagram showing his 3-year-old daughter holding a baby capuchin monkey named Fiji.

We quickly alerted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to Brown’s possession of the animal, requesting that the monkey be removed from the singer’s custody. (The state of California prohibits the possession of monkeys as “pets.”) In January 2018, it was reported that CDFW officials obtained a warrant and seized Fiji from Brown’s home.

The monkey was transferred to an undisclosed location, and Brown was charged with two misdemeanor counts relating to the possession. The charges carry a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Brown is expected to face arraignment next month.

Monkeys and other exotic animals are not “pets.”

In their natural habitats, baby capuchin monkeys spend several months, even years, by their mothers’ sides. Those used as “pets,” however, are typically torn away from their mothers as infants. These monkeys are intelligent, curious, and highly social animals who naturally live in large groups. A human home denies them mental stimulation and opportunities for social interaction with other monkeys, which can lead to frustration and depression. Monkeys are dangerous wild animals who can be aggressive—they can and will bite humans.

Captive monkeys—those who have already been robbed of the opportunity to live in natural habitats—should be cared for by wildlife experts who understand their physical and psychological needs. They belong in reputable sanctuaries that will let them live in natural social groups—not with a “pet” owner and certainly not in the hands of someone who will treat them as no more than presents for his daughter or Instagram props.

Don’t Be Like Chris Brown

Never buy exotic animals, and support legislation that would make owning them illegal and prohibit the interstate sale of them. Click below to do more for these animals:

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind