• Jace Shoemaker-Galloway

Monkey Day

When it comes to special days of the year, now isn't the time to monkey around! Or is it? Dec. 14 is dedicated to real "swingers" of all shapes and sizes! It's Monkey Day, an annual "holiday" that celebrates those magnificent primates.

With hundreds of species worldwide, monkeys, apes, gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, lemurs, gibbons and even humans, are all part of the vast primate family. Primates have large brains, complex behaviors and are very social creatures.

But sadly, many of these amazing mammals are considered endangered or critically endangered due to various threats. Deforestation, loss of habitat, disease, hunting and the multi-billion exotic pet trade industry, are all contributing factors in the decline of the primate population. Adults are often slaughtered in order to capture the sought-after baby primates. Once captured, the infants often live in poor conditions and end up dying in captivity. Primates are also used in experiments and medical research. 115 million animals around the world, including primates, are subjected to torture and pain in the name of research.

Nearly half of all primates are now threatened with extinction. Monkey Day provides the perfect opportunity to help raise awareness about the plight of the primates. For more information on how you can help, please visit the Jane Goodall Institute.