Josh the capuchin monkey

A victim of the pet trade.

Josh the monkey should have been living free in the jungles of South America. Instead he was kept as a pet in the UK. We do not know how he started his life, whether he was taken from the wild or bred by a breeder for the pet trade. But what we do know is that he should never have been sold as a pet into a life of misery and neglect.

As a pet he was re-homed four times, unwanted by his ‘owners’. As a wild animal he would have found life in a human household very confusing. Monkeys bred for the pet trade are often taken from their mothers too soon, causing developmental issues and psychological damage.

As he grew older and started to behave like an adult monkey, his natural behaviour became difficult for his human owners to cope with. He attacked his final ‘owner’ and was sent to Tweddle Farm, a zoo we exposed for operating without a zoo licence and keeping animals in appalling conditions.

During our undercover investigation at Tweddle Farm we found Josh living alone and so mentally disturbed that he had chewed off the end of his tail. Tragically he lived like this for three years, being kept in terrible conditions and with poor care - he was being fed junk food such as lollipops and cake.

Rocking side to side with distress, it was clear to see that Josh’s life of captivity and abandonment had taken its toll. This is tragically common in the primate pet trade. Highly social and intelligent animals like monkeys can never have their complex needs met living in a bedroom, garden shed or small enclosure at a zoo.

Thankfully, following our exposé Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary came to rescue him.

He was one of the lucky ones. He found a new home at the sanctuary where he now lives with others of his own kind. Upon arrival it was the first time he had seen another capuchin in over a decade. It is heartbreaking that he will never make it back to the wild, but at least here he is free from exploitation.

We shine a light on Josh.

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Photo credit of Josh: Wild Futures