People are paying $4,500 for the adorable — but illegal — thumb-sized monkeys

This past Monday, China kicked off its New Year and officially ushered in the Year of the Monkey. New year’s celebrations are a really big deal in China, encompassing sixteen days of traditional celebrations. This year, things have taken a rather interesting turn as some of China’s wealthiest citizens are taking the whole Year of the Monkey thing really seriously. So seriously that they’re purchasing actual, live monkeys as pets. And wait until you see them, guys!

Seriously, have you ever set eyes on an animal so adorable? This tiny cutie is a pygmy marmoset, which is the smallest known primate in the world. Pygmy marmosets weigh less than a deck of cards (!!!!) and can leap more than 16 feet. Unfortunately, they’re also listed as an endangered species, and HEADS UP: Selling them is illegal in China as they’re considered exotic pets.

Legality aside, buyers in China are paying up to 30,000 yuan ($4,500) for the animals, according to the Chinese news outlet People’s Daily Online. They’ve even given them a nickname: thumb monkeys, which is adorbs but still does NOT make them legal.

Exotic pets are wild animals that require special care. They generally don’t do well in private homes. While we think the pygmy marmoset is as cute as a button (that face! Those tiny hands!), it’s not such a good idea to plunk down four grand and bring one home. It’s not good for the monkey, and it won’t be good for the pet owner who ends up in hot water.

If you can’t get enough of tiny monkeys (get real, who can?!), we suggest you watch this video of a pygmy marmoset getting a toothbrush massage at an animal conservation center. It’s sure to make you cry happy tears…plus you won’t end up in handcuffs. Just saying.