Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


How to Buy a Pet Monkey in Tennessee

By Rena Sherwood | Updated November 01, 2017

Capuchin monkey image from WikiMedia Commons

Tennessee is one of the few states in America where owning a pet monkey is legal. However, owning a baboon or an ape (that doesn't have a tail) is illegal. Monkeys make horrible pets--they're undisciplined, loud and even dangerous--and so are abandoned. Many people who own monkeys as pets are animal rescue volunteers and workers who have to legally own the monkey before they can rescue them. Buying a monkey in Tennesse is still legal, although the ethics of such a practice are questionable. In order to rescue a pet monkey, even animal rescue workers resort to buying them.

Find a veterinarian who has treated pet monkeys or other primates before. Pet monkeys will get sick and injured. You also will be legally responsible for keeping your pet monkey healthy.

Get your home set up for a pet monkey to live in. Make it as if a toddler is moving in. You have to have past experience taking care of monkeys before you can bring one home. Monkeys are too dangerous and fragile to get one on a whim.

Go online to find local classifieds selling monkeys or look at the classifieds in the local Tennessee papers. Buying monkeys is a private deal, as they are largely no longer sold in Tennessee pet stores. Only a very few stores will sell them.

Check out the classifieds of some national exotic pet magazines (such as Critters USA), which often contain advertisements for pet monkeys and other exotic pets.

Inspect the monkey before you buy it. Never buy a monkey sight unseen.The average price for a pet monkey is in the thousands of dollars.

Photo Credits

  • Capuchin monkey image from WikiMedia Commons


Rena Sherwood is a writer and Peter Gabriel fan who has lived in America and England. She has studied animals most of her life through direct observation and maintaining a personal library about pets. She has earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Delaware County Community College and a bachelor's degree in English from Millersville University.