Capuchin monkeys are “New World” monkeys, primarily found in the Northern parts of Argentina. New World monkeys are native to Central and South America as opposed to Old World Monkeys which are native to Asia and Africa. They live in the trees and are only active during the day. They are smart and can be aggressive when it comes to their territory. They socialize in small groups and can be vocal – hard to miss when the Capuchin monkey makes some noise! They have a prehensile tail that they can use like a finger to grab, hold, and climb. “Forest” came to Monterey Zoo in June of 2003, and has been delighting visitors in our education and conservation programs ever since. He’s a perfect gentleman during our full-contact tours and educational programs. A personality very unusual to his species, Forest as been a true gift to Monterey Zoo.
Squirrel Monkeys are also New World monkeys, native to the tropical forests of Central and South America. They can often be very aggressive, even with each other. Like the Capuchin monkey, they are omnivores eating mainly fruit, leaves, seeds and some insects. Unlike the the Capuchin monkeys, their tail is not prehensile and they can not use it to grab onto things. They primarily use it for balance. Monterey Zoo is home to “Pip and Penny”, two privately owned monkeys that were brought to Monterey Zoo in 2018, where they were introduced and have happy together ever since. Both work well in our education and conservation programs.
Monterey Zoo wants to stress that we DO NOT recommend such animals as pets. They demand a great deal of care and professional handling. They typically become aggressive as they grow and need a home that can specialize in their handling needs. We recommend that true monkey enthusiasts find a zoo where they can volunteer to achieve their “monkey-fix”.