Rolling Without Limits

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Capuchin Monkeys and Their Two Trustworthy Hands
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Capuchin Monkeys and Their Two Trustworthy Hands

People born differently abled or have a disability do find certain daily chores difficult and time consuming. Tasks like picking the newspaper, taking care of the trash, or even fetch that ringing mobile phone could prove to be troublesome at times. And this is where a certain primate can change their lifestyle almost instantly. Introducing capuchin monkeys, trained to fit perfectly into anyone’s lifestyle.

These furry geniuses are especially recommended to people with spinal cord injuries or similar disabilities which renders them immobile. Such life changing and often permanent situations, can be identified as paraplegic (affecting 42.5% Americans with spinal cord injury) or quadriplegic (affecting 56.4% Americans with spinal cord injury).

With a population of such individuals totaling up to 200,000 in U.S alone, it is required that they receive adequate support to perform some simple tasks easily. And with around 88% of that population living independently, the need for an ideal companion is more than just a luxury.

One non-profit organization in the United States that is working in this direction is Helping Hands. Set up in the year 1979, the experiment to use capuchin monkeys to support the differently abled has now bloomed into a full service. They train the monkeys in their own training schools which may take up to seven years and once deployed and transferred to a recipient, the primates are able to maintain their service for up to twenty five years or more.  

It should be understood that some of the pros about capuchin monkeys, which make them ideal for training also make them an ideal companion.

  • Most intelligent of their species
  • Ideal Size which makes them adorable.
  • They like to work in a team
  • Their dexterous hands lets them perform tasks similar to humans

These pros, as stated, make it easier for the trainer to make them understand the specific requirements of the recipient very quickly. It also helps in creating a strong bond between the recipient and the capuchin monkey since their emotionally superior to other service animals.

Since the recipient would lack basic motor skills, the capuchin monkeys form an ideal assistant in performing the desired tasks like turning pages, switching lights and any other similar requirements. The monkeys, however, serve a greater purpose which goes beyond their primary role of being an ideal assistant. They are an ideal companion as well.

Their emotional intelligence lets them quickly understand the emotional status of the recipient and they tend to liven up the moment to elevate their owner’s mood. Anyone living independently and without a company would appreciate the presence of someone who is able to understand their emotional needs, although it’s only a monkey.

With such adorable and helpful features, no wonder capuchin monkeys are helping their recipients lead a more comfortable and stress-free life. One can only hope that this symbiotic relationship through a capuchin monkey gives comfort to more people in need ahead and adequate support is also received from the government to enhance the programs like that run by Helping Hands.

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