Primate Rescue Center

Monkey Business

Erika Fleury February 18, 2014

A Batesville, Arkansas mother wanting a special gift for her kids is dealing with bitter disappointment after getting mixed up in some real monkey business.

They don't sell capuchin monkeys at Petsmart, so one single mom with a passion for primates took her search for an exotic pet to the Internet. Like a jungle, that can be a dangerous place.

A posted photo claims to feature a baby capuchin monkey for sale in South Arknasas for $560. If you call the out-of-state number the owner will tell you she has moved. She says she is also a strong Christian with mounting medical bills. What she won't tell you, is it's a scam. "If I could do it over again I would," says Christine (not her real name).

Had Christine looked at more online classifieds, she would have noticed that the same woman was selling the same monkey from Conway and North Little well as Little Rock, Jonesboro, Fayetteville...even Texas and Massachusetts.

Unless your city or town has an ordinance against it, you can own exotic animals in Arkansas, and there are breeders and sellers in the neighboring states of Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee. Expect to pay upwards of $6,000, though, for a baby capuchin monkey.

"If I can't go and pay for the monkey and have it put in my hands immediately, I won't do it," says Christine.

In this case the price for the monkey was way too low, the seller was out-of-state and she demanded that money be wired - all warning signs that were missed, and it's a hard-lessoned learned for this Batesville mom. She hopes you can learn from it too.


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