Primate Rescue Center

Help Support the Center

Donate Now

Beyond Bananas: What do Primates Really Eat?

Laura Clifford October 12, 2013

Monkeys and bananas, they go together like…well, monkeys and bananas! While most of our monkeys and chimps do like bananas, their diets consist of much, much more.

Our residents eat A LOT of food everyday, so we make it a top priority to make sure we are feeding everyone a nutritious diet to ensure a long, happy life. Our days here at the Primate Rescue Center begin and end with feeding. Every morning the chimps start the day with a fresh piece of fruit. It can be an apple, a pear, or even, yes…a banana, while the monkeys start their day off with some lettuce and seeds. After that, our staff and volunteers begin chopping a mixture of fruits and veggies to feed to the chimps and monkeys. Later, the chimps get lunch which our staff and volunteers prepare from our PRC cookbook. All of our recipes take in to account the total carbohydrate, fat, and sugar levels in order to maintain a healthy level of each. Non- human primates can suffer from diabetes and other weight related heath issues, so it is imperative that we feed them a healthy, balanced diet to prevent these diseases. The monkeys also have a dinner prepared from the cookbook along with another serving of lettuce mixed with nuts or seeds. The chimps end their day with another mixture of chopped fruits and veggies. We also supplement their diets with monkey and chimp chow.

Needless to say, we are so grateful to our area Kroger stores who graciously donate food on a daily basis. Every afternoon our staff and volunteers spend time unloading and sorting through the produce donated by Kroger. We keep a variety of fruits and veggies, as well as nuts and other dry goods that we can use in recipes or in monkey and chimp “chop” each day. We also use monetary donations to buy groceries to feed all of the monkeys and chimps. If you would like to contribute to the care of a specific resident in our care, check out our Primate Pals program where you can “adopt” one of our monkeys or chimps and provide food for them through your generous donations.

It’s a big job to feed all of these animals, and it takes up a lot of time to prepare meals each day, but we love doing it because we love our residents!



By Judith Neal on November 12, 2013

Over the years I have rescued horses, dogs, cats, deer, skunks, possums, rabbits, and a chipmonk.  I did make pets of the horses, dogs and cats.  All of the other animals I left totally free so they could come and go as they pleased.  I was so happy when they were accepted into a family and felt safe enough to leave.  The only wild creature that never really left was a bird that stayed and nested next to our deck where we would have loved to BBQ; we couldn’t because Toothpic spent all of his spare time sitting in the BBQ pit.  He thought it was his and my family and I chose to let him be happy.  He and his family were with us for 4 years.  The Primates have always been an interest of mine.  I have always looked down on research institutes that used primates for testing against their will.  Wild animals belong in the wild or in safe protective places like I have been reading about on your postings.  Thankyou for your hard work.  Judy

By Debra on December 02, 2014

If monkeys only eat vegetables and fruits, then why do they have canine teeth?

By krystal sedgeman on February 10, 2015


By PrimalPrimate24 on March 18, 2015

lol chimps r so funny grin
i wana b 1 wen i grow up
wher do babies come from?

By Eileen Dunnington on May 05, 2015

Debra, chimpanzees in the wild do hunt and eat meat. Monkeys have canine teeth for protection and dominance displays within their group. They can also be very helpful to crack open nuts! Great question!

By Per Kristian on May 26, 2015

What ape/monkey have bananas as a part of their natural diet? Like in the wild.

Add Your Comment:

 * Required

Share | |

Recent Video


Sign up for the PRC Newsletter and receive regular updates about our efforts to help primates in the wild and in captivity. Fill in your email address below.

Your Email

Our Privacy Policy