Whether buying groceries or pumping gas, Connie Tibbs never does errands without a pack of primates

By People Staff
Updated July 25, 2011 09:20 PM

When Connie Tibbs goes grocery shopping, she has five reasons to never forget the bananas: Alley, Jackson, Audrey, Dexter, and Jaeda – her Japanese macaques, who are her hangers-on as she picks out produce!

The Pekin, Ill., monkey lover does everything with the precious pets: She shops with them, sleeps with them, swims in her pool with them, and even takes them for rides in her sports car (no car seats for these critters – they cling to her body as she steers!). RELATED: Macaque Takes Self-Portraits

Tibbs’ passion for the primates started when her husband Steve gave her one as a birthday gift. Three years and four monkeys later, Steve is kicking himself for fostering the obsession, which he calls a “nightmare.”

“The monkeys get jealous and attack me if I try to cuddle up to my wife,” he tells Rex photo agency. “But the monkeys come first with her, so I just have to put up with it.”

The 37-year-old mother of three adores caring for the fuzzy creatures (who can weigh around 20 pounds as adults) because she says they are better than real babies.

“You get to do all those nice motherly things like feeding them, napping with them and changing their diapers,” she says. “But you don’t have to be with them 24/7 because from a young age they can look after themselves.”

Though they’re quite independent, Tibbs would much rather bring her babies along. “I hate being apart from them,” she says.

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