State law says, no 'monkey business'

Created: 06/12/2014 5:32 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A cute little spider monkey was on Craigslist recently. His owner can't take care of him anymore due to a new job. He's great with kids, is diaper trained, and is free. Who wouldn't want him as a pet?

"It's actually illegal here in New Mexico. It has been since 2012 to have any primates housed as pets," said Pamela Campbell. She's a zookeeper at ABQ BioPark and caretaker for the primates, including the two spider monkeys, Reina and Dos.

She knows how dangerous they can be.

"They have very sharp canines and even though they look very small, they are very strong, agile, and they can cause a lot of damage. They're physically dangerous to humans as well if they ever became threatened and felt the need to protect themselves."

Don't let the cute faces and mellow attitude of the spider monkeys at the zoo fool you. They also carry diseases that can spread to humans, like herpes and hepatitis, along with some nasty habits.

"They like to mark and establish their territory so it can be through extremely loud vocalization. It can be through scent markings. It can be through urine and feces. Those are all things that are very unpleasant. Humans don't want it in their homes."

The Craigslist ad has been removed, but if you see an illegal exotic pet for sale, you're encouraged to tell the US Department of Game and Wildlife.

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