Monkeys are well-known for munching on bananas, but did you know they can also eat popcorn?
Popcorn is a good snack that monkeys can eat in moderation. There are even some monkey parks where you can feed monkeys by hand.
Let’s find out more about monkeys’ love of popcorn, whether it’s healthy for them, and where you can go to feed them.
Is It Safe for Monkeys to Eat Popcorn?
Yes, it’s safe for monkeys to eat popcorn. The popcorn must be plain and air-popped, though. Monkeys shouldn’t eat popcorn covered in flavorings, such as butter, salt, or sugar as it isn’t healthy for them.
Can I Feed Popcorn to a Monkey at the Zoo?
It’s best not to feed popcorn to monkeys in a zoo. Monkeys typically eat six times per day and the zookeepers will feed the monkeys as and when needed.
The monkeys may be on a special diet due to their age or health problems. Feeding them popcorn could do more harm than good, so it’s best to leave the zookeepers to do their job.
If you’ve got your heart set on feeding popcorn to a monkey, there are a few zoos and animal parks around the world that allow visitors to feed monkeys popcorn.
- La Montagne des Singes – planning a trip to France? Make sure you stop off at La Montagne des Singes as you’re allowed to hand feed the macaques at the park.
- New Jersey Popcorn Park – you can feed popcorn to a variety of animals at New Jersey Popcorn Park, including bears, big cats, and monkeys. The park has recently taken in an African Green Monkey that is sure to want a treat or two.
- Monkey Mountain – Monkey Mountain is located in Salem, Germany. The park hands out free popcorn to visitors wishing to feed the monkeys.
Can I Feed Popcorn to Wild Monkeys?
No, you shouldn’t feed popcorn to wild monkeys. Popcorn isn’t a natural product that wild monkeys will be used to eating. Wild monkeys are also used to fending for themselves and sourcing their own food.
If people were to start feeding popcorn to wild monkeys, they’d become increasingly reliant on humans for food rather than using their natural instincts.
Can a Pet Monkey Eat Popcorn?
If you live in one of the 17 states that allow people to keep a pet monkey, you’re probably wondering whether you can share popcorn with it on a movie night. The good news is that you can indeed feed your pet monkey popcorn.
However, you should only feed your pet monkey plain, air-popped popcorn. Always make the popcorn yourself as this way, you can be sure there aren’t any preservatives or hidden extras in the popcorn.
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Is Popcorn Healthy for Monkeys?
Plain, air-popped popcorn is healthy for monkeys, as long as it is fed as a treat in moderation. There are also some pretty impressive health benefits associated with monkeys eating popcorn. These include:
- High in protein – A monkey’s diet should consist of between 14% and 22% protein. Monkeys often get their protein from animals which can cause cholesterol problems. There’s around 3 g of protein in 3 cups of popcorn which makes it a good way to get more healthy protein into a monkey’s diet.
- Good source of fiber – Monkeys need to eat fiber to maintain good gut health. There’s usually 3.6 g of fiber in 3 cups of popcorn, so it makes a good treat for monkeys.
- Source of vitamins and minerals – Monkeys particularly need calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin A in their diets. As all of these vitamins and minerals are found in popcorn, monkeys can benefit from eating small amounts of it.
Will Popcorn Make A Monkey Sick?
Popcorn may make a monkey sick. One of the biggest concerns is that the wrong type of popcorn is eaten by a monkey. Never feed popcorn covered in your favorite flavorings to a monkey as this will make them sick.
As monkeys closely resemble humans, their teeth are similar to ours. This means they can get popcorn stuck in their teeth in the same way we do. The monkey may be able to pick the popcorn out itself, but if it can’t, human intervention is needed. If the popcorn is left in the tooth, pain, bleeding, tooth decay, and tooth loss could occur.
There’s also a chance that a monkey overindulges on popcorn and gets an upset stomach. The high fiber content of popcorn will do this to most animals and humans. Thankfully, this symptom should quickly pass without complication. Just make sure water is available at all times.
How to Feed Popcorn to a Monkey
Now that you know it’s safe to feed popcorn to a monkey, here are a few ways to serve it to them:
- On its own – Plain popcorn might sound boring to us, but it’s the healthiest way for a monkey to eat popcorn. Plus, monkeys like and enjoy popcorn served this way.
- With cheese – Cheese should be fed to monkeys with caution as some monkeys cannot tolerate dairy. If you know that a monkey’s digestive system is okay with cheese, you could sprinkle a small amount of it onto some popcorn for it to devour.
- With fruit – Monkeys are big fans of bananas, apples, oranges, mangoes, and berries. Serve up air-popped popcorn alongside some of these fruits for a healthy and satisfying monkey snack.
- With nuts & seeds – Monkeys love to pig out on nuts and seeds. Popcorn goes great with these foods, so throw a few pieces in and see how your monkey reacts.
Most monkeys love tucking into popcorn. It can even be a healthy treat for them when fed correctly and in moderation. If you want to feed popcorn to the monkey in your life, you now know how to safely do so and how it may benefit its health.
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Sue’s favorite pastime? Watching a good movie with a giant tub of popcorn by her side. Her friends and family know that if they want to get her something, popcorn is always a safe bet. Sue has an adventurous spirit and loves to travel exploring new places – she’s been to more than 40 countries!