If you have a pet monkey on your Christmas wish list, you may need to think of another gift. If you're in Arizona, for example, you could replace it with a hedgehog. That's because a new law in Arizona bans keeping monkeys, chimpanzees or any other other non-human primates as pets, but does allow a hedgie in the home.
As reported in the Phoenix New Times, the Arizona Game and Fish Department has updated its provisions regulating domestic and captive wildlife. But the rules non-human primates should come as no surprise.
Twenty-two states already ban private ownership of non-human primates: Alaska, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont and Washington.
As if that wasn't enough cause to pause on getting a pet primate, the animals can also transmit a host of diseases to people, including monkey pox, simian herpes B virus, simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV, the primate form of HIV), measles, rabies, Marburg virus, cercopithecine herpes virus I, salmonella, influenza virus, filoviruses (ebola), streptococcus pneumonia, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis.
So do yourself, and Santa, a favor this year by keeping your Christmas wish list clear of any primates.