Monday 8th of February marks the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Monkey – the ninth in a twelve-year cycle of animals representing the Chinese zodiac, which will end on January 27th 2017. The zodiac features a wide range of creatures great and small, living and mythical, domesticated and wild:
The beginning of each New Year is on the first day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar, and therefore the date varies each spring, according to the cycles of the moon.
In Chinese astrology, each year is associated with an animal sign as well as with one the Five Elements: Gold (Metal), Water, Wood, Fire, or Earth. Both the sign and element of your birth year are said to affect your personality and destiny, and the specific element-sign combinations only occur every 60 years – 2016 is the year of the Fire Monkey (you can find a very comprehensive discussion of the character traits, lucky features and a run-down of the year ahead for Monkeys here)
Chinese astrologists believe that those born under the sign of the monkey are ambitious and adventurous, as well as being confident, optimistic and fond of the limelight – not at all surprisingly, just like the animals under whose sign they are born!
In the UK, the law regrettably allows for monkeys to be kept as pets, and the RSPCA estimates that thousands of primates (such as marmosets, capuchins and squirrel monkeys) are currently confined in UK homes. However, as highly intelligent animals with complex behaviours and particular habitation needs, it is clear that monkeys cannot live happily as pets. The RSPCA reports that primates that have been kept as pets often have poor diets and have been exposed to little or no sunlight. Many develop Metabolic Bone Disease, leading to fractured or deformed bones, painful abscesses and tooth decay; a condition that is common in primates weaned too early from their mothers. As such, the organisation is currently campaigning for a change in the law, to ban the keeping of primates as pets. If you would like to lend your support, you can click here.
Rather than keep them as pets, we would always encourage those who love the more unusual exotic animals to offer practical support and funding instead, via the adoption schemes run by many animal charities and zoological organisations., with the aim of helping primates in their natural non-confined environments.
And until next time, Shailen and The Ralph Site team wish you a “Happy Year of the Monkey!”
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support
Please note: The Ralph Site is not affiliated with the third-party organisations in any of the links shared here, and the views, ideas and suggestions expressed in this and other blogs are simply shared with the intention of helping you, our friends, take care of the special animals in your lives.