Many people have tried to turn a cute little monkey into a family pet, but normally not a full grown baboon.
A 24 year old baboon will now spend the rest of its life at a Jessamine County Primate Center after being rescued from a Kenton County garage.
That rescue center had plenty of chimpanzees and monkeys but no baboons until they got a call from animal control authorities in Kenton County where there are strict laws against keeping wild animals as pets.
April Truitt, who runs the Primate Rescue Center, tells 27 NEWSFIRST, "They were not sure at first what they had up there, but when we finally determined it was a rather large baboon that had been kept for the last 24 years in a couple's garage, we were shocked. They bought her when she was five and a half months old, and as happens in every single case we come across, at some point, she became not so cute and cuddly and was confined to a cage. They actually moved her from the basement to a dark corner of the garage."
Suzie, the baboon, arrived at the Primate Rescue Center with some serious health issues. Truitt says, "We confirmed that she is type 2 diabetic. She has some sore that don't heal. She has very bad teeth, and she can't seem to gain weight no matter how much she eats, and she's eaten everything in sight since she came here."
Just this past weekend, a television program aired called My Monkey Baby that painted a very unrealistic picture of keeping a primate as a pet. According the Truitt, "Most of the Capuchin monkeys that they showed in that program were infants, and those that were older actually had all their teeth removed. Never under any circumstances at any time should these animals be kept as pets, and even the best intentioned owners can not provide for them the way they need to be provided for."
In the wild, baboons have a well defined pecking order, and they will fight to maintain their position even in a human family. Truitt explains, "They go after the weaker family members, children first if there are children in the family. Although Suzie had been getting more aggressive over time, this call was not in response to an injury, and we're glad it didn't have to go that far this time."
For more information about the Primate Rescue Center of Jessamine County, click on the link below.