The staff at Born Free USA was pleased to read Tuesday’s story “Baboon moves to Texas sanctuary.” Non-human primates may look cute and cuddly, but they should never be kept as pets. It’s cruel to the animals and dangerous to people.
Primates need to develop complex relationships with other members of their species, rarely possible in captivity. When loneliness causes primates stress, they often react by becoming violent and unpredictable. In turn, owners may house them in small cages or even have the animals’ teeth and nails filed or surgically removed.
In addition, dozens of people, including children, are attacked in the United States by “pet primates” every year.
Lawmakers must impose bans on owning primates. Animal lovers, please urge your representatives to support the Captive Primate Safety Act to keep primates in the wild where they belong.
– Melanie Scheible, Born Free USA, Sacramento, Calif.