No, Chris Brown, Your Daughter Doesn’t Need a Pet Monkey

When you think about an appropriate Christmas gift for a three-year-old child, the first thing that comes to mind is something like a safe toy, right? A puppy or kitten — terrible idea. A monkey? Even worse.

Yet that’s just what singer Chris Brown gave his daughter, Royalty. She can be seen holding the capuchin, who’s wearing a diaper and wrapped in a blanket, on her lap in a video Brown posted on Instagram Dec. 7.

“Is this your baby? He’s going to be bigger than you, right,” Brown can be heard telling her off camera. “Y’all have the same size head.”

Thank goodness that many of Brown’s fans apparently have more sense in their heads than Royalty’s dad. Hundreds of Brown’s 41 million Instagram followers have left comments denouncing his poor gift choice.

“This is irresponsible. This animal was stolen from the wild to become a pet,” wrote one commenter. “Please take it to a sanctuary where it will receive proper care and can hopefully be returned to the wild!”

“That monkey was torn away from ITS Mom, so you could have it…Shame Chris, shame,” wrote another.

This is true: Baby capuchins that are sold as pets are usually taken away from their mothers in captivity when they’re only a few days old. “It is not hard to imagine the horror both baby and mother must feel during this forced separation,” notes the Jungle Mates Primate Sanctuary in Florida, where many of these pets end up. It can take months for the mother to get over her grief.

This isn’t the first time Brown — who was charged with felony assault in 2009 after viciously beating Rihanna, and with felony assault with a deadly weapon last year after allegedly pointing a gun at his girlfriend’s face — has caused an uproar regarding animals. In 2012, he was briefly a backyard breeder, selling pit bull puppies online for $1,000 apiece. That was around the same time the USDA closed an internet sale loophole in the Animal Welfare Act that allowed breeders to sell pets online without obtaining a license, complying with minimum animal care standards or undergoing occasional inspections.

Brown could be breaking the law yet again. Although there’s currently no federal law prohibiting buying and owning monkeys and other primates as pets in the United States, 22 states do ban them – including California, where, at least as of last year, Brown resides.

Why Primates Shouldn’t Be Pets

Unfortunately, of course, little Royalty isn’t the only person in the country to have a pet monkey. More than 15,000 primates are kept as pets in the U.S., according to the Humane Society of the United States. Between 1990 and 2013, more than 230 people were injured by these pets, including 70 children.

Besides being dangerous, as Care2 writer Tex Dworkin pointed out, there are other good reasons why monkeys and apes don’t make good pets — especially for a young child:

  • They’re a health risk, spreading serious viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic diseases to humans.
  • It deprives primates of fulfilling their natural social, physical and developmental needs.
  • Having primates as pets hinders conservation efforts by creating false public perceptions about their status in the wild.

Take Action

A three-year-old child doesn’t need and should not have a pet monkey. Please sign and share this Care2 petition telling Brown to release the capuchin to a sanctuary and find a more suitable — and legal — gift for Royalty.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons


Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago


Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga5 months ago


Naomi D
Naomi D5 months ago

A three-year-old child doesn’t need and should not have a pet monkey.

Kathleen E
Kathleen E5 months ago

Totally stupid man.

Roslyn M
Roslyn M7 months ago

Agree completely with Frances Bell's comment.

Frances Bell
Frances Bell7 months ago

Never mind the health risks to people. What about the risk to the monkey's physical, emotional and psychological health? That's far more concerning.

Julie D
Julie D7 months ago

Not only is it not a happy situation for the monkey but they will not think it is so cute when it bites and throws feces at them from across the room.

Chad A
Chad Anderson7 months ago

Thank you!

Debbi Wood
Debbi W7 months ago

Idiot and moron suite him. As Cruel J said, that monkey will bite her and make huge messes, and 'daddy' will likely kill the poor abused monkey. Someone should find out where he obtained that poor baby and stop the sales. Florida is the worst state when it comes to banning wildlife sales.

Winn A
Winn A7 months ago