Monkeys may not be the most popular pet in the United States, but a sizable number of people keep them as pets. There’s nothing about keeping a monkey as a pet until you need to travel. If you’re one of the 15,000 people that own monkeys in the US, you may want to know if they can travel.
It’s almost impossible to travel with a pet monkey due to the restrictions surrounding the ownership and movement of monkeys in most countries. Even if you can get a license to own and travel with your monkey, most airlines don’t support transporting monkeys as pets.
As if the process of owning a monkey isn’t enough hassle, traveling with it is also getting increasingly difficult. If you’re planning to travel with a pet monkey in the United States, here are some things you need to know.
Can I Travel with My Pet Monkey?
Pet monkeys are banned in 19 states in the US, and for good reason. Monkeys aren’t your typical dog or cats; they’re wild animals, and they will continue to behave regardless of how hard you try to train them.
Since monkeys can potentially wreak havoc at any time, it is logical for the airlines to block them from boarding, and that is what most airlines do. Since they’re banned in many US states, most airlines don’t have to deal with monkey owners at all.
In special cases, however, you may be allowed to travel with a monkey, but it must certainly not be a pet monkey. Pet monkeys aren’t allowed on planes, but if the monkey is a service animal that assists disabled patients, they may be allowed on the flight.
Even if you’re traveling with a private monkey, you should expect a pretty extensive inspection process. Your monkey will be tested and inspected thoroughly before the flight to ensure that it poses no apparent threat to the other passengers on the plane.
The reason why most airlines are reluctant to let you travel with your pet monkey is the inconsistent behavioral patterns they exhibit. The issue of monkeys attacking people, including their owners, isn’t very rare, and funny enough, even service monkeys that help deal with stress behave like this.
The bottom line is that monkeys aren’t your regular pets. They aren’t as friendly as dogs and cats, and consequently, most airlines won’t let you bring your monkey along with you on a flight for the safety of the other passengers in the flight.
Why Monkeys Don’t Make Great Travel Pets
If you’re seeing these travel restrictions against monkeys for the first time, you may be unhappy at the bias against monkeys compared to a common pet like a dog or a cat. However, all of those restrictions are justifiable when you come to learn the behavioral patterns of monkeys.
Unlike dogs, monkeys aren’t cooperative animals. Here are some reasons why they don’t travel well or even make great pets in general.
1. Transmission of disease
Monkeys are wild animals and they’re open to far more diseases in the wild than dogs are at home. If you can recall the recent Ebola outbreak, monkeys are one of the animals that specifically transmit the disease.
Since they carry more diseases on average than your average dog or cat, carrying them with humans or other pets in an airline will be an unhealthy move. Even if you think it’s probably vetted against many diseases, most other people don’t share the same thinking as you do.
Also, this problem doesn’t only go one way. Primates like monkeys aren’t vaccinated against most of the diseases that humans vaccinate themselves against, but they’re still susceptible to these diseases. Bringing them along to public places only amplifies their risk of getting these diseases, which isn’t a great way to show affection to your monkey.
2. Unacceptable behavioral patterns
Monkeys are a tad more aggressive than dogs. They can develop hurtful relationships with people and act aggressively against them forever or misinterpret gestures or friendly communication cues to mean hostility.
When they decide that they hate a person, they may attack them in very gross ways, even in public. Imagine your monkey acting up in a place because it picked up a fight with someone who was looking out of curiosity.
While most people interpret this aspect of behavior as “bad,” it isn’t necessarily so. Your monkey is a wild animal and it’s always inclined to act like one. Trying to get a wild animal to behave like a domestic one is even worse than monkeys behaving grossly in public.
And did I say they don’t use a litter box? Unfortunately, monkeys don’t use that. Since they defecate anywhere in the wild, they also deem it fit to do the same, and they may defecate and urinate right on the plane.
Just pray your money doesn’t decide to urinate on people’s belongings or throw excreta at strangers. You should brace up for some apology since you have a lot to make.
You can theoretically run into all those problems only if you can be allowed to own a pet monkey in the first place. In the United States, 19 states currently don’t allow individuals to own monkeys, even if you’re willing to get a license to own them.
The rest of the states require you to get a permit, but good luck with that, since most states will only give you a permit if you have a legitimate use for the monkey. One legitimate use we’ve found so far is as an emotional support animal, but we’re talking about pet monkeys here.
In foreign states, the rules restricting the ownership of monkeys are even more limiting. You can’t own a monkey legally in most countries, and countries that let you own one will require you to have a permit.
Theoretically, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a destination where you can fly to with your monkey, making it pointless for any airline to support transporting pet monkeys.