Can You Own a Monkey in California?

Monkeys, ferrets and snapping turtles are among the animals that are illegal as pets in California but people try to keep them anyway, judging from the number of exotic creatures that end up with local or state animal-control authorities, rehabilitation centers, and private zoos.

Joe Camp, whose private Jungle Exotics reserve in Devore makes animals available for movies and television, has been a trainer and caretaker of monkeys and chimpanzees since 1975. The one on the list that has advocates and opponents bristling with the kind of fervor usually reserved for issues such as taxes and health care is the ferret.

Pat Wright, founder of, said Wednesday that his group hopes that prospective legalization of ferrets in New York City may boost another California effort. Hughan of the state Fish and Wildlife agency said wardens in recent years have recovered an ocelot in Long Beach, and there was a Ventura case where a guy had a tiger in his backyard. There also was that capybara in San Luis Obispo County. We have an African serval, a bobcat that was declawed and several raccoons that people tried to raise, and a golden eagle that was confiscated, said Christy McGiveron, lead keeper at the Moonridge Animal Park in Big Bear.

Half of these people who have these animals illegally, if they spent two hours learning about them, they would never keep them as pets, said Dominique Ferraro at Zebras R Us in Nuevo. Her operation, which sells zebras and camels, does not have any state-permit-required animals, but Ferraro said training in specialized care always is the priority for unusual stock.

What kind of monkey is legal to own in California?

In California, all gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, bonobos, and gibbons are classified as “wildlife” that must be heavily regulated by the state for their own health and welfare as well as public safety. In general, it is illegal to import, possess, or sell apes for use as pets in California.

How much is a monkey in California?

Pet monkeys typically cost between $4,000 and $8,000 each. However, this will depend on the monkey’s age, rarity and temperament. Younger, more rare and friendlier monkeys tend to cost more.

What state can you own a monkey?

Pet Monkeys Allowed. Currently, Washington state, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Alabama, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina have no restrictions on keeping monkeys as pets.

Can you own a Spider Monkey in California?

Outside of the AWA, each state is permitted to establish its own laws regarding the ownership of exotic pets such as the spider monkey. … Many other states, such as California, New York and New Mexico, prohibit spider monkeys as pets.

Every crime in California is defined by a specific code section. Our attorneys explain the law, penalties and best defense strategies for every major crime in California.

Monkeys, apes, primates and several other types of exotic pets are illegal to own as pets in the state of California according to California Code of Regulations Chapter 3 section 671.

If you decide to ignore the laws and keep a monkey as a pet anyway you could face heavy fines and possible jail time. Weve all seen Michael Jacksons and Justin Biebers monkeys on TV and on social media.

With all of the domesticated animals in the world that make wonderful pets like cats, dogs, and certain kinds of birds, owning a monkey as a pet just doesnt make sense. In these situations permits must be obtained and you must have a specific reason for owning a monkey in California. You must have the proper enclosure that meets all specifications set by the state for housing a monkey.

Popular types of pet monkeys

With all of the domesticated animals in the world that make wonderful pets like cats, dogs, and certain kinds of birds, owning a monkey as a pet just doesn’t make sense.Just a few things to know about monkeys and why they may not make good pets.