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International World Monkey Day 2021: Date, history, observance and all you need to know

Warm up those vocal cords and get ready to unleash your wildest calls and cries in observance of this holiday, which celebrates not just monkeys, but everything simian.

By Newsd
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International World Monkey Day 2021: Date, history, observance and all you need to know about this day

December 14 is Monkey Day! We may look just a bit different from our primate pals, but we shouldn’t forget that we share a common ancestor with them in chimpanzees! Warm up those vocal cords and get ready to unleash your wildest calls and cries in observance of this holiday, which celebrates not just monkeys, but everything simian.

History of International World Monkey Day:

It’s a difficult task to pinpoint the exact moment that monkeys first emerged as a unique species within the animal kingdom, but it is believed that their appearance took place approximately 60 million years ago. This vast amount of time would pass, month by year by millenia, both creeping and speeding along, without the existence of a National Monkey Day! At long last, though, thanks to two pioneering college students, this would change in the year 2000.

Casey Sorrow and Erik Millikin, both studying art at Michigan State University, are responsible for the creation of this simian-centric celebratory day. Sorrow (fittingly) would admit to the Detroit Metro Times that he experienced a form of malaise around the holiday season and felt compelled to find a way to combat these December blues. After jokingly jotting down “Monkey Day” in a friend’s calendar, Sorrow took the idea and ran with it: when December 14th rolled around, he and his art school friends dressed up as monkeys and ran amok, putting on their best monkey impressions.

They would go on to incorporate ideas related to their newly-formed holiday into their artwork and homemade comics. Publishing these pieces online allowed for the notion of a Monkey Day to spread, and now, decades on, the day is observed throughout the world in countries including Germany, India, and Thailand.

What started out as a bit of fun has evolved into a full-blown operation. Monkey Day serves as an important anniversary each year for raising awareness of modern threats to monkeys, with entities such as National Geographic, the Smithsonian Institution, and Greenpeace promoting the day. Sorrow and Millikin have also been instrumental in utilizing monkey-themed art as vehicles to serve this end, as well. Their work has brought an entirely new understanding to the term “monkey business!”

Their personalities and habits capture the attention of humans on many levels. These intelligent mammals with opposable thumbs live in family groups, too. However, many species of monkeys are endangered. Some endangered species from around the world include:

  • Indri- Found in Madagascar, this lemur faces hunting due to hunting and deforestation.
  • Roloway monkey- This bearded monkey found in Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana lives in tropical forests. They’re hunted for their meat.
  • Western chimpanzee- Another monkey threatened by hunting, it has a larger territory. They live in the rainforests and savannahs of western Africa.
  • Ecuadorian White-Fronted Capuchin- Locals hunt them because the White-fronted Capuchins threaten local crops. The Capuchins range through Ecuador and Peru.

How to observe International World Monkey Day:

Discover more about these fascinating primates. Learn about monkeys who live through all kinds of weather in Nature’s Snow Monkeys. Disney’s documentary Monkey Kingdom about the monkeys of South Asia follows a family and shows us the social hierarchy that exists among the community.

Consider donating to conservation efforts. The World Wildlife Fund combats the destruction of rainforests which is vital habitat for the black spider monkey, a vulnerable species.

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