Monkey Business 1

There’s nothing common about JoJo McRodi a Common Marmoset Monkey

Thirteen month old JoJo, a Common Marmoset monkey, is loving life in Cape Coral. He takes full advantage of our Florida sunshine by cruising around the family swimming pool in his miniature pirate ship which is equipped with the basic necessities, including a bowl for his snacks.

JoJo’s Owners, Barb Smith and Marcelo Parodi, purchased him a year ago from a marmoset breeder, “When he was the size of a yogurt cup,” says Barb, who’s always had a fascination for monkeys. As a little girl, when she lived in Maryland, her family took trips to the zoo in Washington, D.C., where she’d spend most of her time in front of the monkey sanctuary. Neither Maryland, nor D.C., allow exotic animals as private pets. Living in Florida has made it possible for Barb to have her beloved JoJo.

Experts agree; potential owners should be aware that some pet monkeys can be aggressive, and need a social, free roam environment which is difficult to provide in a private home.

Of the twenty one states allowing private individuals to have monkeys as pets, Florida is one of nine states that require permits. Barb was granted a Class III permit. Our state has an extensive application process. Permits come with strict regulations. For instance, it is mandatory to follow a disaster plan and have an evacuation kit ready at all times, so that the monkey can be moved to safety in the event of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane.

“We live in JoJo’s house. This is JoJo’s world,” says Barb. Indeed, the little monkey leaps from the top of his cage to the couch, to a chair, stopping along to the way to enjoy one of his favorite foods, fortune cookies. Other favorites include mozzarella sticks and pizza. Occasionally, he shares his food with “Mousey,” his toy mouse.

JoJo “eats everything,” but Barb and Marcelo feed him plenty of healthy foods; fruits, vegetables and Marmoset, a nutritional food made for monkeys like JoJo. He’s fond of gum (tree sap)…and worms, purchased from a local pet store. Marcelo feeds the worms to JoJo. Barb chooses not to participate in this activity.

JoJo isn’t a “performing” monkey, but he attracts lots of attention when he shows up at local venues like one popular coffee shop where he always receives his share of Barb’s Vanilla Bean Frappe with chocolate syrup. He’s learned a few tricks. He can give you a “high five,” and imitates the beep of a microwave and a cell phone.

He likes to play “hide and seek.” Hiding on Marcelo’s back, he challenges Barb to find him. Barb peeks around Marcelo’s shoulder and calls, “Where’s JoJo?” JoJo scampers to Marcelo’s other shoulder so that Barb can’t see him.

JoJo can be possessive. Sometimes when his “parents” embrace, he gets between them and pushes Marcelo away. He can get away with that. After all, it’s his house!

Visit JoJo’s Facebook page: JoJo McRodi