I never thought I’d live to see a monkey ride a dog, but that day has finally come.
A traveling show called The Banana Derby features capuchin monkeys riding a variety of dogs. The popular county fair act was uncovered by NBC’s I-Team just yesterday in Long Island, but the show has actually been going on for years.
The monkeys aren’t trained to ride the dogs, instead they’re chained to them — that’s right, chained. A collar is put around their neck which is attached to a saddle on the dog’s back, while their legs are strapped with velcro to the dog’s’ side. The restraints aren’t subtle, which probably prompted the owner’s choice to have his “monkey jockeys” wear eye catching outfits.
Multiple animal rights groups have attempted to put an end to carnival shows like this one, with the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance — respected experts on the welfare of monkeys — and the Humane Society of the United States campaigning against a variety of monkey acts. These organizations insist that these conditions can increase the animals risk of mental and physical injury as well as cause them to act aggressively.
The owner of the monkeys and the creator of the act, Philip Dolci, sees nothing wrong with his business, insisting that “people love it [the show]”. While NBC was interviewing him he even says, “You’re fake news. It’s a nonsense thing. Everybody likes the monkey but you two crybabies.”
Sounds like he’s been taking public speaking pointers from the Trump administration.
According to The Banana Derby’s website the show is available in all fifty states, at paid public appearances, and at private parties. Isn’t that fun? You can get your kids in on the abuse for their next birthday! The website also calls the The Banana Derby “America’s Favorite Monkey Jockeys” — I don’t know if they actually asked anyone if that was true.