JEDDAH: Baby baboons abandoned by their owners are being left with a dog shelter in Jeddah.
DJ Kennels has received seven abandoned baby baboons, with the shelter owner expressing his concern about people not doing their research before taking on exotic pets.
“Very few people with very special circumstances can keep a monkey and people don’t really realize this,” Mahmoud Azzam told Arab News.
Azzam said that unlicensed or unofficial animal marketplaces were taking advantage of people who were looking for exotic pets.
“People look for animals that are expressive and emotional, a baby baboon is very adorable and looks a little bit like a human baby. So, they would buy these babies from the market without realizing what they have gotten themselves into. They don’t even look into the fact that these babies were ripped away from their natural habitat and that they were acquired by illegal means.”
Monkeys are wild creatures and cannot be domesticated. But people who adopt them only realize this when the monkeys turn three to four months old, revealing their true nature by being destructive and noisy and making it impossible for the owner to train them.
- DJ Kennels has received seven abandoned baby baboons, with the shelter owner expressing his concern about people not doing their research before taking on exotic pets.
“The complication with the baboons is that people can give away their cats and dogs to a shelter, or even if they are left on the street the other cats will accept them,” Azzam added. “For baboons there are no shelters and, if left in the wild, the other monkeys will kill them within a very short period of time.”
DJ Kennels is more than just a dog shelter. Some people bring their pets for boarding and training, while others take their pets along for playdates with other animals.
But recently, people have also begun contacting the facility about having their baboons adopted.
“At that time we had extremely limited space, and absolutely no plan to adopt these babies, but we didn’t have another option. We have no plans for the future as well, as we cannot re-home them and we cannot release them in the wild,” he said.
There are more than 400,000 baboons in the Kingdom, according to the Rahmah Animal Welfare Association.
The animals are believed to be natives of the Sarawat mountains, mostly in the southwestern areas from Taif to Asir and beyond.