4 Types of Monkeys Legal To Own in Nevada


Yes, keeping a monkey as a pet is legal in the state of Nevada. In fact, Nevada residents are permitted under the state's Administrative Code to own monkeys as pets without a permit or license. However, as a potential owner, you should thoroughly examine your city or county regulations, as they may impose stricter rules or necessitate a permit. For instance, in the City of Las Vegas, NV, a Wild Animal Permit is mandatory for keeping a monkey as a pet.

While Nevada state law permits the ownership of all monkey species, there are four particular species that are commonly chosen by pet owners. These species of monkeys that are commonly kept as pets in Nevada include:

1. Capuchin monkeys

A captive Capuchin monkey

Capuchin monkeys are the most popular species of monkeys commonly kept as pets in Nevada. While they may seem adorable and captivating, it is worth noting that owning a Capuchin monkey as a pet requires an extensive commitment both financially and emotionally. Primarily, as a potential owner, you must ensure you meet the legal requirements within your jurisdiction, including obtaining a permit or license and adhering to strict regulations regarding housing conditions and veterinary care.

Moreover, keeping a Capuchin monkey demands significant time investment due to their social nature; they require mental stimulation, companionship from either humans or other monkeys, and specialized dietary needs. Regarding price in Nevada specifically, acquiring a Capuchin monkey can vary significantly depending on various factors such as age, gender, temperament, breeders' reputation, and availability but generally range between $5,000 to $7,000.

2. Common marmoset monkey

A hand feeding watermelon to a Common marmoset monkey

Common marmoset monkeys have an average lifespan of 12-15 years in the wild, but can reach up to 20 years or more in captivity with proper care. While they may appear appealing as pets due to their size and adorable features, it's crucial to note that owning a marmoset monkey requires extensive knowledge and dedication. In Nevada, owning exotic pets like marmosets, as mentioned earlier, is regulated by local laws that govern possession permits and mandatory health checks for both the animal and its owner.

Additionally, the cost of acquiring a Common marmoset monkey as a pet in Nevada can be quite high since legally obtaining one often involves buying from reputable breeders or licensed sellers who ensure ethical sourcing and adequate care. As a potential buyer, you should consider not only the financial investment but also the lifelong commitment required to provide these intelligent creatures with appropriate habitats, socialization, dietary needs, veterinary care, and mental stimulation.

3. Pygmy marmosets

A Pygmy marmoset monkey sitting on top of an iron pipe

The Pygmy marmoset monkey, also known as the pocket, or finger monkey, is a fascinating and highly intelligent creature that captivates the hearts of many individuals. In captivity, they have an average lifespan of 12, but with proper care and nutrition, some may even live up to 20 years.

However, it is worth noting that keeping Pygmy marmosets as pets requires extensive knowledge and commitment due to their specialized needs. These tiny primates demand a well-planned diet consisting mainly of fruits, insects, and tree sap. Additionally, their social nature necessitates constant companionship with other monkeys or human caretakers who will provide them with mental stimulation and enrichment.

As for the price in Nevada, acquiring a Pygmy marmoset monkey legally from a licensed breeder can be quite expensive. Prices may range anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 depending on various factors such as age, gender, lineage, and overall health of the individual monkey.

4. Squirrel monkeys

A Squirrel monkey eating chocolate biscuit

Squirrel monkeys as pets have gained popularity in recent years due to their adorable appearance and engaging behavior. They are smaller than Capuchins but larger than Pygmy marmosets, with an average weight of around 2 pounds. With a lifespan of up to 20 years, these petite primates require extensive care and attention, making them unsuitable as household pets for most individuals. Despite their cuteness, potential owners must remember that squirrel monkeys have complex dietary needs and thrive in large enclosures mimicking their natural environment. 

Moreover, keeping a squirrel monkey as a pet in Nevada is subject to local regulations. As a prospective owner, you may need to acquire the appropriate permit from your local authorities and demonstrate your ability to meet the demanding housing requirements before considering this unique pet option.

Prices for squirrel monkeys can vary widely depending on factors such as age, origin, training level, and breeder reputation but typically range from $2,000 and $5,000 in Nevada.


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