“Moron” celebrities who share pictures with monkeys and own them as pets are wrongly setting the example that primates are domesticated, a scientist has warned.
Ben Garrod, a professor of evolutionary biology and science engagement, has said that people are not aware of the proper processes for nurturing monkeys as “they are not domestic animals”.
And under the wrong care, he says, monkeys kept as pets could “be dead within two years”.
Mr Garrod is set to release his new book The Chimpanzee & Me in which he says there are around 4,500 primates owned as pets in the UK.
He is calling for stricter regulations on the private ownership of primates.
It is legal to own primates as pets in the UK if the owner holds a relevant permit, however animal charities are campaigning to reverse this.
The RSPCA says primates are “not suitable” for private ownership, and that an isolated life would create a “life of torment”.
Nonetheless, several celebrities have jumped on the trend over the years. Here are just some of them: