By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Somebody is making a monkey out of Justin Bieber. It’s his monkey.
Customs officials in Munich seized Justin Beiber’s capuchin monkey and refused to give it back until he showed health and species protections certificates as required by the German government. Those Germans are known to be so protective of species.
Beiber may be the most annoying but he is certainly not the only American to have what’s called an exotic pet – a nontraditional animal.
In the US, there are laws that prevent people from owning exotic pets. The laws differ from state to state, but it’s generally illegal to keep large carnivores and other non-domesticated dangerous animals like bears, tigers, and primates as pets. Hard to believe you need a law to discourage people.
Remember that just because you can buy an exotic animal doesn’t mean you should: the ASPCA has stated that keeping exotic animals is bad for the animal, bad for us, and bad for the environment. Keeping a wild monkey is all fun and games until someone loses a face.
If you insist on keeping an exotic animal as a pet, first check your state regulations and then discuss who’s going to look like the monkey if it gets taken by authorities.