Human woman raises two monkeys as her children

While many kids typically beg their parents for kittens or puppies, Stephanie Fusco asked her parents for a pet monkey. They only agreed because they thought it would be impossible for her to find one to adopt.

Now, Fusco is the proud mother to two white-faced capuchins named Xander and Ohana.

“I like to see people smile at them,” Fusco told In The Know. “I like making people’s day with it.”

Xander and Ohana have two distinct personalities. Fusco describes Xander as a “typically toddler” who’s hyperactive and slightly destructive. He was the first monkey Fusco adopted and even her parents were surprised by how effortlessly he integrated into their family life.

“We just couldn’t believe it when we saw him,” Fusco’s mom, Diane, said. “He was so tiny, so cute. We never thought he’d be part of our life.”

Ohana is more laidback and loves to lay around. Ohana will actually come to Fusco when he’s called and can sit still in the front seat during a car ride — versus Xander, who needs to have his leash on him most of the time. Ohana also really loves his grandmother, Diane.

“He just gets so excited when he sees me,” Diane said. “And he’s done that since we brought him here, since he came in the driveway. He just came right to me, he’s just so lovable.”

According to Fusco, white-faced capuchins can eat pretty much what humans eat. Xander, for example, loves to eat peppers, avocado, chicken and eggs all from his highchair in Fusco’s kitchen.

“My relationship with my monkeys is that they’re sort of like my children,” Fusco explained. “I know they’re not children, but they’re more than just a pet and if I was to ever have kids, I’d have to raise them around [the monkeys] and make sure they’re listening and make sure everything’s going right because I would never get rid of [Xander and Ohana].”

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