23 States in Which You Can Legally Own a Pet Monkey

As of the time of this article, monkeys are allowed to be kept as pets in twenty-three U.S. States. Perhaps you've always wanted to add a pet monkey to your family, or, out of curiosity, you want to find out whether it is legal for your neighbor to keep that Guenon monkey in his or her backyard. Currently, monkeys are legal to own as pets in 23 states and illegal in 27.

Two pet monkeys

Each state in which pet monkeys are legal has its own exotic animal laws which permit, restrict, or prohibit the keeping of certain types of monkeys. The states of Arizona, for instance, don't regulate the ownership of monkeys at all, while Florida and Texas restrict the possession of some species of monkeys.

However, if you are considering a pet monkey, there are a few things you need to know beforehand, including the many responsibilities such as housing, feeding and disease prevention that come with the ownership of monkeys.

By all accounts, monkeys don't make great pets. As social animals, monkeys require a lot of social interaction and tend to easily become mischievous and destructive when they get bored. You need a specific vet to periodically check your pet monkeys for infectious or contagious diseases such as Herpes, Cytomegalovirus, Tuberculosis, and many parasites such as Pinworms, Giardia, and Strongyloides.

Furthermore, owning a pet monkey is not cheap. To begin with, the prices of pet monkeys in the United States range from $1,500 to $8,000, depending on species and breeders. Monkey owners virtually always need to buy insurance for bites in addition to mounting costs like veterinarian bills, environmental upkeep, diapers, and a lifetime supply of food.

Pet monkeys need large enclosures and require a substantial amount of their owner's time daily in addition to other needs in order for them to not become lonely or depressed. Lonely or depressed pet monkeys have been recorded acting aggressively and destructively. Notwithstanding the challenges, if you and your family want to commit to the ownership of a pet monkey, below are the twenty-three states wherein pet monkeys are legal to own, as well as the types of monkeys that are allowed.

1. Alabama

In Alabama, you need a Class I permit to legally own a Macaque monkey, Drills, and Mandrills. A Class II permit is required to possess a Uakari, Howler monkey, Mangabey, Guenon monkey, Guereza monkey, Bearded saki, Langur, and Proboscis monkey.

Other species of monkeys such as Tamarin, Capuchin, and Squirrel monkeys fall into the Class III category, which requires six months (500 hours) of documented practical experience before a permit is issued in Alabama. The possession of Class I and II monkeys, on the other hand, requires one year (1000 hours) of documented practical experience in care, feeding, handling and husbandry of the species of monkey you wish to own.

The City of Albertville in Marshall County, Alabama, requires that all pet monkeys be kept at least 200 inches (16 feet) from neighboring residences. Anniston City in Calhoun County, Alabama, requires that pet monkeys be kept 300 inches (25 feet) away from other residences.

2. Arkansas

In the state of Arkansas, all monkeys are legal to keep as pets under certain requirements except Macaque monkeys, which are banned from being kept as pets. Arkansas law requires that all pet monkeys be microchipped within thirty days of possession. In addition, The Bear State prohibits tethering any primate outdoors.

3. Connecticut

In the state of Connecticut, residents can legally keep Capuchins monkeys and Marmoset monkeys as pets.

4. Delaware

Delaware residents must obtain an "Individual Permit" to own some species of monkeys such as Marmosets, Capuchins, Squirrel monkeys, Guenon monkeys, Macaque monkeys, and Tamarin monkeys, which are the common species of monkeys kept as pets in The United States.

5. Florida

Florida allows many species of monkeys to be kept as pets under a Class II Personal Pet License (PPL). These species include but are not limited to Guereza monkeys, Guenon monkeys, Macaque monkeys, Mangabeys, Langurs, Marmoset monkeys, Woolly monkeys, Spider monkeys, Proboscis monkeys, Howler monkeys, Saki monkeys, Green monkeys, Grivet monkeys, Vervet monkeys, and Tamarin monkeys.

6. Indiana

In the state of Indiana, a "Wild Animal Possession Permit" is required to keep any species of monkey as a pet.

7. Kansas

In the state of Kansas, it is legal to own any monkey species as a pet. Marmoset monkeys and Capuchin moneys are commonly kept as pets in Kansas.

8. Michigan

All species of monkeys are legal to keep as pets without the need to obtain a permit or license in the state of Michigan. Marmoset, Capuchin, Squirrel monkeys, and Tamarin monkeys are the most popular species of monkeys commonly kept as pets in The Great Lakes State.

9. Mississippi

Mississippi residents must obtain a "Personal Possession Permit" for a fee of $150 and meet housing requirements before keeping any species of monkey.

10. Missouri

In Missouri, monkeys and other primates are classified as "dangerous wild animals" and keeping them as pets requires registration with the local law enforcement agency. The top three popular pet monkeys in Missouri include Squirrel Monkeys, Capuchin monkeys, and Marmoset monkeys.

11. Nebraska

Arkansas has no statewide law restricting the keeping of monkeys as pets. However, each municipality in The Cornhusker State may have its own rules regarding the keeping of exotic animals. While it is technically legal to keep a monkey as a pet in Nebraska, it is essential to check with your local authorities before acquiring any monkey.

12. Nevada

Nevada residents are allowed to keep monkeys as pets without obtaining a permit. Marmoset, Spider, Capuchin, and Squirrel monkeys are commonly kept as pets in Nevada.

13. North Carolina

North Carolina has no state-wide laws regarding the private ownership of exotic animals, meaning monkeys are legal to own in The Old North State. However, local laws may restrict or prohibit residents from keeping a monkey as a pet.

14. North Dakota

In the state of North Dakota, monkeys and other primates are classified as "inherently dangerous" and therefore keeping them as pets requires a permit.

15. Oklahoma

Oklahoma residents don't need a permit to keep Capuchin monkeys, Pygmy marmosets, Pygmy marmosets, Squirrel monkeys, and other species of monkeys as pets.

16. South Carolina

In South Carolina, keeping monkeys as pets is not regulated. Capuchin monkeys are commonly kept as pets in South Carolina.

17. South Dakota

All species of monkeys are legal to keep as pets with a permit in South Dakota.

18. Tennessee

Tennessee residents are permitted to keep all species of monkeys as pets without the need to obtain a permit or license.

19. Texas

The types of monkeys that are legal to keep as pets in the state of Texas include but are not limited to Capuchin Monkeys, Marmosets, Tamarin Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys, Guenon Monkeys, and Macaques. For more information, see "6 Types of Monkeys That are Legal To Own in Texas."

20. Virginia

Virginia allows all species of monkeys to be kept as pets. However, an "Import Permit" in addition to a certificate of veterinary inspection is required before importing any monkey into Virginia. It is required by law in the Old Dominion that all imported monkeys and other primates be microchipped and tested for tuberculosis.

21. West Virginia

It is legal to own as pets Macaque Monkeys, Marmosets, and Capuchin Monkeys in the state of West Virginia.

22. Wisconsin

While Wisconsin state law allows residents to have pet monkeys, some cities enacted their own ordinances restricting the keeping of monkeys. For example, the City of Janesville in Rock County, Wisconsin, prohibits residents from keeping pet monkeys in addition to all types of wild, exotic animals, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

23. Wyoming

Monkeys are one of the exotic animals that are legal to keep as pets in the state of Wyoming. However, residents must obtain a permit before acquiring any pet monkey in The Equality State.

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