|When he's not playing football, Jets safety LaRon Landry enjoys hanging with his pet monkey, Mr. Gucci. (US Presswire)|
One day, about three years ago, Jets safety LaRon Landry and his cousin Brian, who lives with him, were at home watching the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. One of the animals in the movie was a white-faced capuchin monkey. Landry turned to Brian and said, “I want one of those.”
Brian looked at Landry like he was crazy, but he knew it would happen. “Every time I said I want something or I'm going to do something, I do it,” Landry said.
Brian immediately said, “No. I'm not letting you.”
One week later, after researching all of the rules and regulations about owning that kind of pet, the monkey arrived, direct from Costa Rica.
His formal name is Mr. Gucci, and he immediately became part of the family. He lives in Landry's house in Virginia but occasionally travels to New Jersey. Who takes care of him when Landry isn't home in Virginia? You guessed it. Cousin Brian.
Gucci -- or Gooch -- has the run of the house, as long as someone is nearby to monitor his activities. And to avoid any unpleasantness, he wears a diaper.
As for meals? “Their food is called Monkey Chow,” Landry said. “But he hates it.” Apparently, Gucci prefers fruit. He also eats meat, "but you've got to break it up into real small pieces," Landry says.
Has Landry considered adopting another monkey so Gucci has a friend?
“I'm all the friends he needs,” Landry said with a laugh. “I'm not raising two monkeys.”
But Gucci does have another animal friend -- Landry's pit bull, Trauma.
“They chase each other around the house,” Landry said. “They're like Tom and Jerry.”
Brian needs to prepare himself, because Landry is contemplating further additions to the family; perhaps a Sphynx (a hairless cat) and a few more dogs. He'd also love a tiger and a lion.
All of this is enough to make you wonder if Landry has considered becoming a zookeeper when his football playing days are over.
“I couldn't be a zookeeper,” he said. “I only love certain types of animals. I don't do birds.”