Are Pet Monkeys Allowed in Florida?

Can you legally keep a monkey as a pet in Florida? The short and simple answer to this question is Yes you can. However, you will need to obtain a license or permit, which is issued only after certain requirements are met. Another question people typically ask is what types of monkeys are allowed to be kept as pets in Florida? The Sunshine State allows a few species of monkeys to be privately kept as pets so long as you have the required experience to care for the primate.

A Spider Monkey and a Capuchin Monkey

To begin with, Florida divides wild and exotic animals into three categories called Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. In Florida, Class 1 animals are deemed to present a real or potential threat to human safety and therefore are not allowed as pets in the Sunshine State.

On the other hand, animals that fall under the Class 2 and Class 3 categories can legally be kept as pets with a permit or license despite being considered to pose a real or potential threat to human safety. While some species of monkeys fall under the Class 2 category, others fall under the Class 3, which means you will need to obtain either a Class 2 or Class 3 permit depending on the type of monkey you wish to possess. For more info, see Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 animals in Florida.

Types of Monkeys That are Legal in Florida

The following species of monkeys are legal to keep as pets in the state of Florida:
  • Howler monkeys
  • Saki monkeys
  • Uakari monkeys
  • Douc Langurs
  • Guenons
  • Guereza monkeys
  • Langurs
  • Macaques
  • Mangabeys
  • Patas monkeys
  • Proboscis monkeys
  • Snub-nosed langurs
  • Vervet monkeys
  • Grivet monkeys
  • Green monkeys
  • Capuchin monkeys
  • Spider monkeys
  • Woolly monkeys
  • Marmosets
  • Tamarins

You need a Class 2 Personal Pet License (PPL) to possess any of the above species except Capuchin, Marmoset, Spider, Tamarin, and Woolly Monkeys, which require a Class 3 Personal Pet No-Cost Permit (PPNC). However, regardless of category, anyone wishing to keep a monkey as a pet in Florida must document 1000 hours of experience working with the desired species. The experience documentation, which must at least span one calendar year, must show 1000 hours of practical experience in feeding, handling, and caring for the desired species or any species in the same biological family.

In addition, before a license or permit is issued, Florida animal lovers wishing to own a pet monkey must pass a caging inspection. One of the Standard Caging Requirements for Primates is that "a cage or enclosure must have an accessible device to provide physical stimulation or manipulation compatible with the species. Such device shall be non-injurious, and may include, but is not limited to, boxes, balls, mirrors or foraging items." Furthermore, a cage 6 feet by 8 feet, 6 feet high is required for one or two monkeys listed in this article.

Florida allows pet monkeys on properties that are at least 2.5 acres and the animal cage must be at least 35 feet away from property lines. Please note that it is illegal to catch a monkey from the wild and keep it as a pet in Florida. The type of monkey you wish to keep as a pet in Florida must be captive-bred and obtained from a legally licensed source.

By all accounts, the following monkeys make good pets: Guenons, Spider Monkeys, Marmosets, Capuchins, and Tamarins. In Florida, acquiring a pet monkey can cost you between $4,000 and $8,000, depending on the species. For example, Capuchin monkeys typically cost around $4,000 to $7,000 while Spider monkeys cost between $6,000 and $14,000.

How to Apply for the Florida Class 2 and 3 Wildlife Permit or License

To apply for the Florida Class II Personal Pet License, you need to be at least 18 years old. The cost of the license is $140 per year. On the other hand, the age requirement for the Class III permit, which is free and lasts for two years, is 16. To apply, visit the Florida Wildlife as a Personal Pet page and scroll down to "Permit/License Options."

Florida Class 2 animal license information

Florida Class 3 animal permit information

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Florida Captive Wildlife Office at  (850) 488-6253 or The office is situated at 620 S Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399.


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