Meet the Animals » Primates » Benny
Capuchin Monkey Cebus olivaceus – Benny
Benny has one of the saddest histories of all our rescues. He was kept in an old air raid shelter with no outside enclosure, no heating and only one small porthole as a window. Benny was malnourished and had no enrichment or interaction at all. Benny began to self-harm at an early age, badly biting his fingers and toes. Capuchins are considered to be the most intelligent of the New World monkeys; this intelligence leaves these animals prone to developing deep rooted psychological problems when deprived of sufficient stimulation in captivity. Although Benny has indoor heating and as much environmental enrichment as we can offer he has always found winters difficult. A number of years ago Benny lost his buddy Emma and we hope at some point to join him with another monkey, but making sure it is the right companion.
Capuchins are tree dwellers that live in low-lying rainforests in central and Southern America; they are to be found from Costa Rica to Paraguay and Trinidad. These intelligent and clever monkeys use tools such as stones to crack open nuts etc. Their ability to be easily trained gave rise to their exploitation; many think that capuchins would make a ‘good pet’ however they are destructive with a volatile temperament as they reach adulthood. They were named by explorers after their resemblance to an order of Catholic friars, the order of Friars Minor Capuchin.
They can weigh up to two and half pounds as adults and consume a varied diet including fruit, nuts, seeds, insects, spiders and small mammals, and can live for up to 45 years in captivity. Capuchins are very sociable and enjoy playing and grooming each other.