Would Chimpanzees make good House Pets and can they be Toilet Trained?

Chimpanzees do not make good house pets. Don’t even think of keeping a chimp as a pet.

For one thing, they can live more than fifty years, which is quite a commitment. For another, even a toddler chimp is stronger than you’ll ever be, and an adult can easily lift 600 pounds without straining much.

That might not necessarily be a problem, except that they grow to be ornery as well.

They generally refuse to acknowledge the concept of toilet training, they’re aggressive, they can never be fully domesticated, and they enhance their status within their tribe by constantly testing those above them to see if there’s a weakness somewhere.

Even if you could establish that you and your family were the alpha members of the tribe, as you can do with a dog, it would not take long for your pet to realize that it could easily whup all of you hairless primates upside the head with one hand holding a banana.

But let’s say you genuinely feel you can handle a baby chimp and intend to return it to the jungle when it reaches adolescence.

Still, don’t do it.

Baby chimps don’t stay children for long, and returning one to the wild after raising it would be handing it a death sentence.

The other chimps in the wild are not in the habit of accepting a new chimp into their midst, and they would likely kill it if it tried to join their group.

So keeping in mind the example of Michael Jackson and Bubbles, and the fact that the poaching of chimps for research labs and private collectors is threatening their existence in the wild, it is best not to monkey around with chimpanzees as house pets.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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