Chinese New Year: Five Cool Things You Never Knew About Monkeys

Posted on by PETA Australia

Happy Chinese New Year! It’s officially the Year of the Monkey. Despite this, many monkeys will endure unimaginable cruelty in the coming year.

Find out why monkeys are amazing and what you can do to help save them from exploitation:

1. There Are Around 260 Known Species of Monkeys

There are two types of monkeys: New World monkeys, who are native to Central and South America, and Old World monkeys, who are native to Africa and Asia.

One place monkeys certainly don’t belong is in outer space. However, the Russian Federal Space Agency is conducting cruel and unnecessary space-related experiments on monkeys, even though humane alternatives are available.

How You Can Help

Sign this petition to urge the Russian Federal Space Agency to end these experiments and send the monkeys to a sanctuary instead.


2. Monkeys Can Be LOUD!

Howler monkeys are the loudest species, with piercing calls that can be heard up to 4.8 kilometres away!

What they can’t shout about is the plight of their fellow primates, who are bred for cruel and unnecessary tests by Melbourne’s Monash University and other Australian organisations.

How You Can Help

Write a letter or send an e-mail to Monash University and urge it to end its monkey-breeding program and switch to humane research methods instead.


3. Monkeys Make Great Mamas

If food is scarce, female monkeys usually stop mating until the circumstances are better for pregnancy. Even when conditions are perfect, a female monkey will only give birth once every two years.

Sadly, in many zoos, monkeys – along with many other animals – are given no opportunity to choose when to breed. Instead, they’re forced into breeding programs.

Breeding occurs in zoos even when a species is not endangered. Baby animals are used as a marketing strategy – to draw customers in and increase revenue. Breeding often results in a “surplus” of animals, and Australian zoo standards allow these “extra” animals to be killed.

How You Can Help

Don’t support zoos. Choose to visit animal sanctuaries instead, and support organisations that are fighting to keep monkeys and other animals in their natural habitats.


4. Monkeys Can Use Tools

Capuchin monkeys are very smart and have the ability to use tools such as stones and sticks. Having the largest brains of all New World monkeys, they can easily learn new skills.

Because of this, capuchins and other species of monkeys are exploited by the tourism industry and in places such as the creepy “Monkey Village” in Jakarta, Indonesia.

How You Can Help

Never support the exploitation of monkeys – or any animal – with your tourist dollars while overseas. Stay away from any activity that involves paying to touch or take a photograph with an animal or watch them perform in any way.

Choose animal-free activities instead and support local conservation efforts.


5. A Group of Monkeys Is Called a ‘Troop’

Monkeys have very complex social lives and, like us, form close friendships and bonds with each other. When separated from the others in their troop, leaders often exhibit signs of depression. Monkeys are also profoundly affected by death – particularly mother monkeys, who, after losing an infant, will often carry the body with them for a number of days.

In countries like Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, thousands of monkeys are confined and bred for experimentation. Kept in dismal conditions, these animals are denied the opportunity to form troops and do everything that is natural and important to them.

How You Can Help

Please urge officials in Laos to close down cruel monkey farms, and make sure that you keep up to date with other campaigns that work to free monkeys from the international research trade.


Let’s make this year a great one for monkeys.