Too Clever

9th June 2010

However, such hand-reared capuchin monkeys usually become difficult to manage after sexual maturity and end up in sanctuaries as confused “problem” monkeys due to biting someone.


I am one of those ex ‘nursing’ monkeys.  I have absolutely no idea why humans would prefer a ‘monkey’ as a nurse to a human one.  My guess is that it must be the novelty of owning something different, and of being able to say I have a ‘monkey’ helper? So, here goes: My option of all this is NO NO NO!!!! I don’t want to be your nurse or assistant! Who on earth gave you the permission to make me one?


As a youngster I was trained, (by the deprival of food and water – but there are other harsher and not so harsh techniques), to open doors, fetch mail, pills, switch on lights, answer the phone by pressing the except button and the speaker one thereafter, fetching water from the fridge and so forth.  I was also taught to ‘listen’ to my owner’s every command.


I had to wear diapers, and sometimes-even clothes. You try doing that as a tween or teenager! Imagine being a 12 year old in a diaper! Give me a break!


I was named Houdini by the people who found me in Israel. I can’t remember what the place was called, but if you want to know you can ask Monkeyland.  That’s where I live now.  I was only in at the safe house in Israel for a very short while, before that I wandered the streets scavenging for food and hiding from humans.  When I became too weak I must have collapsed, and that’s when the safe house saved me. I was quarantined and sent off to South Africa.


I am happy to be here at Monkeyland, and I don’t ever wish to escape.  I am never forced to do a thing, I don’t have to wear human clothes and diapers, I have a few girlfriends at present and a baby on the way.  I am happy that nobody can, or ever will, take me away from my new home.  I have trees to climb in, food galore, friends I adore and lovers I can’t get enough of. Spending time here at Monkeyland, lazing about, eating, playing and just having fun is what I want my life to be like. BEST of all there are all these humans who come to visit.  They walk in the forest and photograph us.


I know my name is Houdini, but, perhaps I should change it to something else. All this fascination and hands-off attention we receive at Monkeyland is making me feel like a real Hollywood movie star. I think that I want a name change – my new name is …….


Help us by giving me a new name.  Email your suggestion to our curators at - If you chose the first name we like, you will win an annual membership to Monkeyland and Birds of Eden.