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Experts agree: Monkeys should not be in the entertainment industry

A recent article in the Des Moines Register highlighted the appearance of Whiplash the cowboy monkey at the CINCH World’s Toughest Rodeo. The North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) wishes to provide you with some information about monkeys in entertainment.

While it may seem amusing on the surface, monkeys used in rodeos are not being given the life they were evolved to have, which for capuchin monkeys includes living in large social groups and spending most of their time high up in the canopy of the trees where they feel safe. The records of many monkey rental operators include animal welfare violations, and training and housing conditions can be incredibly stressful.

Whiplash’s owner and trainer, Kenny Petet, made a point to state that his monkey is not chained onto the of back his racing dog, like other rodeo operators have done in the past and still do. He claims this is what Whiplash “likes to do,” but all information about the natural behavior and preferences of primates indicates otherwise. 

Monkeys used for entertainment are removed from their mothers years before they would naturally separate, which negatively affects their lifetime well-being and tends to manifest in aggression and mental disorders. Primates — wild animals who can carry diseases and who can never be domesticated — are then forced onstage at a loud and potentially frightening rodeo. How long will it be before Whiplash or another rodeo monkey attacks?

This isn’t opinion, it is fact: NAPSA is a coalition of nine of the leading primate sanctuaries on the continent. In our sanctuaries, we

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