Some animal rights groups are reportedly blaming the popularity of Hangover II for the vast increase in purchases of capuchin monkeys. A 20-year-old primate named Crystal garnered an immense fan base after appearing in the Hangover sequel; she also starred in the Night at the Museum. The veteran furry actor will soon be earning $12,000 per episode for appearing in a new NBC series, Animal Practice.
Crystal did not become an overnight celebrity; her first movie appearance was alongside Brendan Frazier in the 1997 hit, George of the Jungle. Justin Bieber was once photographed stealing a kiss from the friendly monkey while she strutted about on trainer Tom Gunderson’s shoulder. The teen heartthrob stated he is her biggest fan after the furry smooch on the check. Hangover II leading man, Ken Jeong, referred to the scene-stealing critter not as a primate, but as one of possibly the best actor’s he has ever appeared alongside in a film.
The species is known as both intelligent and friendly, but conservationists fear that owners will become overwhelmed with the day-to-day care of the lively primate, according to the Daily Mail.
Wild Futures campaign manager Brooke Adlrich had this to say about keeping exotics like Crystal in a residential home:
“You have people who think it’s cool to keep a monkey, so there’s a certain amount of status involved in it. There are very, very few people who keep monkeys who intend to do any harm. But if you don’t know what a monkey needs, then you can do a whole lot of harm without realizing it.”
Capuchins typically grow up to only nine pounds and live largely in the areas of Brazil and Latin America, according to the Rainforest Alliance. Texas-based Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation founder Lynn Cuny maintains the cute little fur balls reach sexual maturity around age five and can become dangerous, according to USA Today. At least 21 states have a ban against private ownership, approximately 15 others require permits for housing the primates.
Recent classified postings on Yakaz indicate that baby hand-fed and sometimes potty trained, capuchin monkeys, sale for $400 t0 $900 each.