Every year on December 14th National Monkey Day celebrates unique characteristics of simians. The day also focuses on other non-human primates such as apes, tarsiers, and lemurs. 

Monkeys, also referred to as simians, live all over the world. More than 260 species of monkeys populate Africa, Central America, South America and Asia. They range in size from mere ounces like the pygmy marmoset to the mandrill at a heavier 80 pounds and tend to walk on all four limbs. As a member of the primate family, they are considered a lesser ape. Most monkeys have a tail, though not all do. Monkeys are divided into two categories – Old World monkeys and New World monkeys.

These sometimes adorable creatures are indeed still wild animals. You should not attempt to get one as a pet as it is prohibited in many places. The exotic pet trades, circuses, and research industries are cruel to these animals. Their safety and health can be compromised in order to maximize profits. If you can and do adopt one please remember they are indeed wild animals.

Their personalities and habits capture the attention of humans on many levels. These intelligent animals with opposable thumbs live in family groups, too. However, many species of monkeys are endangered. 

HOW TO OBSERVE #Monkey Day

Discover more about these fascinating primates. Learn about monkeys who live through all kinds of weather in Nature’s Snow Monkeys. Disney’s documentary Monkey Kingdom about the monkeys of South Asia follows a family and the shows us the social hierarchy that exists among the community.

Read about monkeys and their habitats. Children’s books that teach them about monkeys include:

  • Meet the Howlers! by April Pulley Sayer and illustrated by Woody Miller
  • Monkey Colors by Darrin Lunde and illustrated by Ms. Patricia J. Wynne
  • No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart








See all 3 images

Meet the Howlers! Paperback – February 1, 2010

by April Pulley Sayre  (Author), Woody Miller (Illustrator)
Meet the Howlers! Paperback – February 1, 2010
by April Pulley Sayre  (Author), Woody Miller (Illustrator)
Monkey Colors Hardcover – July 1, 2012

by Darrin Lunde (Author), Patricia J. Wynne (Illustrator)
Monkey Colors Hardcover – July 1, 2012

by Darrin Lunde (Author), Patricia J. Wynne (Illustrator)

No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart , Allen Young, et al. | Jul 3, 2018
No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart , Allen Young, et al. | Jul 3, 2018

Consider donating to conservation efforts. The World Wildlife Fund combats the destruction of rainforests which is vital habitat for the black spider monkey, a vulnerable species. 

Use #MonkeyDay to post on social media.

MONKEY DAY HISTORY

A Michigan State University art student, Casey Sorrow, created National Monkey Day when he wrote Monkey Day on his friend’s calendar. A celebration followed and grew.

Please be aware if you come across wild feral monkies there are reasons to leave them alone. They can bite, causing harm to both other animals and people. Those in Silver Springs State Park, some have tested positive for rabies and other diseases.

Feral rhesus macaques are wild troupes of the rhesus macaque released by researchers, zoos, or private owners, that have been able to survive and propagate in several places in the United States.

Silver Springs State Park Florida

A colony of rhesus macaques was established around Silver Springs in Florida around the spring of 1938. The monkeys were released by tour boat operator Colonel Tooey[1] to enhance his Jungle Cruise ride. A traditional story that the monkeys were released for scenery enhancement in the Tarzan movies that were filmed at that location is false, as the only Tarzan movie filmed in the area, 1939’s Tarzan Finds a Son! contains no rhesus macaques, in part because of the species’ bad temperament.[2] The monkeys continue to thrive along the Silver River to this day.[3]wikipedia source