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