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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2011, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Giles the amazing marmoset

Hello, my name is Rick. I love pets of all sorts but specifically exotics. My very first exotic was a pair of sugar gliders. Actually, they were my wife's but I still got to spend a ton of time with them.
Next, I rescued a 3 year old monkey. It took a year of patience and hard work to earn his trust. He will never fully recover from whatever happened to him before I got him but he is happy. He does not like to play much and would rather just sit for hours, holding my hand or hugging. If I try to play with him, he gets stressed but he will play with me occasionally. Just has to be on his terms. He no longer bites anyone but he also does not like to leave his room. He gets stressed out just going as far as the living room. So, I don't push him and let him do things on his time. He seems to just love the companionship.
But I wanted a monkey that I could take places and that would play more. So.. enter Giles a common marmoset with a ton of personality. He got a really rough start in life. Marmosets are supposed to only have 2 babies at a time and he was 1 of 4. Mom and all 4 babies had to spend a few days in the vet hospital because the mother just could not sustain 4 babies. It was tragic, 3 of the babies died and mom almost did. The vet recommended taking the 4th baby away because mom was so drained of calcuim that he would not survive with her. I took Giles at 2 weeks old and we instantly became best friends. He is 10 months old now and we go everywhere together. He sometimes plays a little rough and he can be stubborn but I would not trade a second of our time for anything. His favorite games are hide and seek and tag. He instantly bonded with our puppy and they are best friends now. None of the horror stories I have heard about monkeys turned out to be true in this case. Giles and I get along amazingly well. The only problem I have with him is that he is jealous of our new daughter so I have to keep the two of them separated but my teenage son gets along with him just fine. I do get tired of hearing "here comes Giles and the monkey man" though.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2011, 11:10 AM
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Hm, marmosets look cool. . . I never assumed they were "pets" though. HOw is it a pet? Where was it bred? Where is it's mom now? Do you have pics?? I'd also like to see the other monkey you mention. . I'm not a huge fan of exotics/wild animals but teach me more and show me pics
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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As far as pics go, check out my facebook. My name is Ricky Lee Huff and workplace is US Navy. That should get you to me.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 12:14 PM
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Thanks but other than your profile pic I cannot see any! He's cute though ^^ How long do they live? What do they eat? how do they adapt to human life? Are they aggressive, cuddly, playful?? I just don't know anything about them (esp as pets) what does it live in? Can it be trained?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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I am at work so pictues are hard at the moment. Training a monkey is very difficult, not because they don't understand but more because they understand and don't care. The day I tried to potty train him, he climbed up to the top shelf over my head and peed on me. His way of saying.. it is not happening buddy. But, when he wants something he obeys very well. He will throw temper tantrums if he really wants something and is told no. His whole body will vibrate and he will make a unique and loud sound. He will bite and it does hurt. Usually he targets your ears or nose to get maximum effect. He gets along well with my other animals but gets jealous of my 2 month old daughter. Monkeys are not for every household. It takes someone with enormous patience and a love of monkeys to own one. Most people who get one that I know only keep them a year or so then want to get rid of them. I told you the bad parts... the good parts are awesome too. He figures things out very fast, loves to cuddle and play games and does the most interesting things. But you asked so I didn't hold back on the bad habits. I want you to know what you are getting into.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 10:16 AM
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Absolutely, people need to research these creatures intensely to know what they are getting into. I'm definitely not made of the brand of patience it would take but I appreciate you're around to be real about it. Makes for less suffering on ones that are taken into bad homes. Are they captive bred??
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 12:06 PM
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One thing I find consistent about most of these posts by people who advocate owning pet primates is that they always have a young primate.

What you have at 10 or 11 months is nothing like what you will have at 5 or 10 years. This isn't just an opinion, it's a fact. In the 20 years I worked at a zoo, I saw many monkeys (as well as other primates) grow from cute and adorable to aggressive and moody. I've even had young woollies in my home for short periods. They are killer cute, no argument. As adults however, no way I would ever get within reach of an animal with large sharp canines, the maturity of two year old and the single, mindless drive to physically dominate every single being it comes across (particularly it's keepers or owner).

The telling thing for me is the fact that over the decades, I've seen bird keepers who owned whole aviaries at home, reptile keepers that had huge collections of herps, hoofstock keepers that even owned things like camels and zebras. However, I've NEVER seen a primate keeper that wanted to own adult primates as pets. ...and there is a reason why. They don't make good pets as adults.

To quote exoticpetvet.net:
Quote:
"Hand-raised, bottle-fed babies are quite charming, but with the onset of sexual maturity, they become unpredictable, aggressive and dangerous to humans - including their owners. Consequently, people should be discouraged from keeping them as pets.

If a client is set on owning a callitrichid, however, he or she should be steered toward a tamarin instead of a marmoset, as they tend to have more stable personalities as adults and are not as aggressive or unpredictable."
There are exceptions to every rule. I'm even sure that there are some people out there that have the money, time and dedication to keep them responsibly and safely. Thre is also the chance you'll hit the lottery next time you play.
But if you search the net, the news and the scientific literature you'll find far, far, far more examples of bad outcomes than good ones when it comes to owning pet primates.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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I do have a 5 year old monkey but I was not interested in having to deal with a dangerous animal. That is why my monkeys weigh 2 lbs and the other one is 9 ounces. I agree, large monkeys would be a lot to deal with. But the tiny ones are manageable.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Update on Giles. The vet initially told me that Giles was a male Common Marmoset but upon further inspection, Giles turned out to be female. She now goes by the name Kaylee. She is roughly 2 years old and fully mature.

She actually calmed down a lot after reaching maturity and we get along better than ever now. She is the alpha animal in the house though and she makes it her goal to dominate all the other animals in my house. At 9 ounces, she can run my 30 pound dog off the couch.

I added a second common marmoset to my house. His name is Aiden and he is the most laid back, calm monkey I have ever seen. He will not even jump. He walks everywhere he goes and strongly prefers my wife to me. The vet said that nothing is wrong with him, he is just very relaxed. I thought maybe he had back problems or something but after testing he was given a clean bill of health.

At the moment, my friends are in the process of moving into a different house so I am also babysitting their pets. I now also get to spend my days with a very friendly ring tailed lemur named Casper and a kinkajous we call Baloo.
The only drawback is that these type of animals require specialized diets and my monthly food bill is over 800 dollars.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 02:17 PM
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i checked out your profile you can only see part of her head but she looks cute I always wanted a monkey but for me thats alot of work when you have 3 kids that are like monkies
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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The photo on my facebook page is not of my common marmoset. It is of my Grey Handed Night Monkey or Owl Monkey as they are commonly called.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 07:46 AM
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That owl monkey is cute (what I see of it). The most exotic thing I ever have is hooked bill birds (parrots). Some parrots can be a handful. I am not a monkey expert but I heard the horror stories. Granted a marmoset (which are very cute) can not do as much damage as the bigger monkeys. My favorite primates are lemurs so I was wondering how would you compare and contrast Giles personality with Casper the lemur? What do they feed the lemur? What fruits and veggies does it eat? Does the lemur have a big outside habitat?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Lemurs need a ton of space to be happy. They bond very strongly with 2-3 people at most and will not tolerate anyone else. Up until they reach maturity (about 2 years old) they are ultra friendly to everyone. A baby could hold a lemur and be safe. But upon reaching maturity, their personality changes dramatically. Only people established as dominant can get around the lemur at this point. Anyone else gets sliced open quickly. I can't even take Casper into town with me anymore for fear of someone getting hurt. There is no question, if he gets in striking range of you, he will strike. Even my wife can not get near him. These are NOT social pets that can interact with large groups of people. These are family only and keep away from children at all times type pets.
As far as diet goes, Casper loves romain lettuce. We use that as his treat. Aside from that he gets some vitamin supplements and a variety of fruits, vegetables and some protien (baked chicken, eggs, etc). Lemurs are opportunistic eaters in the wild. They will eat just about anything they come into contact with so there isn't really a (you have to feed them this only) type menu for lemurs. He gets dry Cheerios for treats too.
Not an animal I would recommend to anyone unless you just absolutely love lemurs.
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