Move over, chihuahua. Ge the hell outta here, mini pig. Take a hike, pug. There’s a new aw-it’s-so-cute pet on the market, and it comes in the tiny little shape of the pygmy marmoset.
The mini primates, which have earned the nickname ‘thumb monkeys’ thanks to their five-inch height, have taken the Chinese pet market by storm, rapidly becoming the must-have fur ball accessory of the young and super rich.
The marmosets’ native environment is the rainforests of the Amazon Basin in South America, and not the digits or handbags of their proud new owners, but that hasn’t stopped many splashing 30,000 Yuan (approx. £3,140) on the little critters.
The fact that pygmy marmoset trading is wholly illegal hasn’t deterred fluff-hungry consumers, either. The hard-to-keep animals are on the International Union of Conservation of Nature’s red list of endangered species, and what’s more, a baby pygmy separated from its family can often die from depression. Yeah, not such a cute idea now, is it?
“Buying and selling are certainly not legal,” said one official expert. “[No] government bodies are supervising this.”
Flowers and a box of chocolates it is, then.
Even if they are this cute...