Relationship with humans

The many species of monkey have varied relationships with humans. Some are kept as pets, others used as model organisms in laboratories or in space missions. They may be killed in monkey drives when they threatened agriculture, or used as service animals for the disabled. In some areas, some species of monkey are considered agricultural pests, and can cause extensive damage to commercial and subsistence crops. This can have important implications for the conservation of endangered species, which may be subject to persecution. In some instances farmers' perceptions of the damage may exceed the actual damage. Monkeys that have become habituated to human presence in tourist locations may also be considered pests, attacking tourists. In religion and culture, the monkey often represents quick-wittedness and mischief. A pet monkey is a monkey kept as a pet. Monkeys have often been favourite pets of queens such as Catherine de' Medici and Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I. Mao Zedong's wife Chiang Ch'ing also had a favoured pet monkey. When the British first began to explore Africa, young monkeys were often captured and taken back on board the ship to entertain sailors. For example, a Senegal monkey was kept as a pet by a ship's cook in the 19th century a

d entertained passengers with its antics. Some were later kept in zoos; many modern captive monkeys in the UK are descended from such Victorian-era monkeys. The same practice is thought to have occurred during the Napoleonic wars; it is rumoured that such practices led to a monkey being washed ashore and hanged in Hartlepool, causing the people of Hartlepool to be nicknamed the Monkey Hangers. Some organizations train capuchin monkeys as monkey helpers to assist quadriplegics and other people with severe spinal cord injuries or mobility impairments. After being socialized in a human home as infants, the monkeys undergo extensive training before being placed with a quadriplegic. Around the house, the monkeys help out by doing tasks including microwaving food, washing the quadriplegic's face, and opening drink bottles. For safety and the possibility of learning through operant condition methods using positive punishment, the quadriplegics had the ability to deliver a warning tone or 0.5 second shock to the monkey. As with all primates, monkeys are never to be trusted fully with a human life in an environment they find demanding or where their needs aren't being met. In at least one study, the monkey completed all tasks and punishment was used only in the learning stage.