Finger Monkey as pet: What you need to know

Pygmy Marmoset, commonly called as finger monkey or pocket monkey, is a unique species found in the rainforests of eastern Ecuador, Brazil, southeastern Colombia, Northern Bolivia, and Eastern Peru. Typically one among the smallest primates existing in the world and its body length vary from just 14 to 16 cm plus a 15 to 20-cm long tail. The females just weigh around 120 grams and males averaging 140 grams. These are also known as ‘pocket monkey’ or ‘little lion’ at different parts of the world referring to its diminutiveness.

The life span of finger monkeys was previously recorded as 15 years, but in captivity, it is noted that the life span ranges from 6 to 9 years. They are being cared for at zoos, and there are a few people who raise them as domestic pets now. Pygmy Marmoset is not an endangered species, but has a possible chance of endangerment, so listed as least concerned under endangered species list. The threat for them is habitat destruction as in the case of many other species; however, these monkeys are easily adaptable to new environments, which is a primary reason they are not endangered till date.

Things to know before buying finger monkey

As discussed above, finger monkeys are now raised at households as pets, but you should have a good knowledge of how to properly care for them while doing so. This variety of monkeys is not so easy to keep, so one should do adequate preparation to raise them at home or farms. Finger monkeys needed to be fed each two hours as a baby for about two weeks.

To keep them, you also need to get a special permit, and the regulations vary in each state. Next, to get a license, you have also to guarantee that there is a primate veterinarian available nearby. Pocket Monkey is not a typical general animal veterinarian, but someone with a primate specialization. It is illegal in South America to export finger monkeys and also illegal to import some such types of primates in the US. Despite strict regulations, many people keep them as pets as they are so cute and adorable.

Diet and habit

This monkey has a specialized diet of tree gum.

Diet is an important aspect you should know on raising finger monkeys. At their natural habitat, they feed on saps and gums from vines and different trees. The exudates they intake are the primary source of calcium, protein, and carbohydrates. They also eat small quantities of fruits, arthropods, plant parts, different insects, and small reptiles.
They use their sharp lower teeth to puncture trees and gorge on the sap, resin, gum, and latex inside. So, if you are caring for them, need to arrange for a special diet consisting of similar nutrients is important. One advantage is that they get adapted to different environments quickly and easily for survival.

Another important thing to note is that finger monkeys are a bit notorious for their biting of owners, throwing feces on others, and sometimes attack. You may take good precaution on planning to raise them at home. They are not so vulnerable as their larger counterparts due to size. They may show aggressiveness while hungry or when felt offended. Altogether, you need to be an adventurous pet owner to care for these marmosets.

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