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Monkey World News

Rescued monkey finds love as Chelsea man is banned from keeping animals

10 June 2013

A CHELSEA man who kept his pet squirrel monkey in a birdcage in his office has been banned from keeping animals for two years.

Charlie the squirrel monkey was starved of affection and food in a birdcage designed for a budgie, when he was finally rescued by the RSPCA.

Amire Khan, 38, of Eardley Crescent, Chelsea, was found guilty of failing to meet the needs of Charlie, a three year old male squirrel monkey.

As well as the two year ban on keeping all animals he was made to pay costs of more than £500 at Uxbridge Magistrates Court.

However the future looks bright for little Charlie the squirrel monkey who now lives at Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre in Dorset with a female squirrel monkey.

RSPCA Inspector Vickey England visited Khan's office last year with primate experts from Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre in Dorset and the police. Inside they found the monkey living alone in a small, barren cage with no access to heat, UV light or the outdoors.

Squirrel monkeys are from Central and South America and need large social groups, lots of space, a complex environment and highly specialist care, as well as sunshine and the correct diet to prevent them from developing bone disease.

She said: "This is the reason I became an RSPCA inspector. From first catching sight of Chrlie, in his little dark cage, all by himself, to seeing him rescued and going to Monkey World for rehabilitation and a happy life, it is the most amazing feeling to know you have played a part in making this animal's life better.

"Khan was able to buy this monkey from a pet shop and clearly did not understand the complex needs and requirements of keeping a primate.

Squirrel monkeys may be seen as small and ease to keep but this is far from the truth - they are very hard to look after and totally unsuitable as pets."

This case highlights the problems involved with the growing UK trade in keeping primates as pets.

"We must stop this growing trade. It has become far too ease to pick up a monkey over the internet, especially since you don't need a licence to keep many of them," said Dr Ros Clubb, RSPCA senior wildlife scientist.

"Cases like this demonstrate why we're calling for a ban on primates kept as pets."

Although underweight and starved of company when he was removed, Charlie is now living happily at Monkey World, in a large outside enclosure, part-funded by the RSPCA, with the company of a female!

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