The zookeepers' biggest concern was that Mally might not be able to assert himself strongly enough, because of his age, to get enough to eat. "But that was no problem, and he certainly makes himself heard when he is not happy about something," says Niewöhner.
Next, they had to remove the trappings of his humanized life. They took away his stuffed teddy. And Niewöhner had to discourage him from seeing her as a mother figure.
"At first it was hard for me," she says. "I had to stop him from climbing onto my head. I had to go away and ignore him -- that was the only punishment we used -- withdrawing attention. That was sometimes really difficult because he would cry when I went away."
"But it is kind of like when you take your child to kindergarten for the first time and have to leave them there. It is the best for him."
It's also good for Niewöhner; as a mature monkey, Mally will have a serious set of teeth, with large canines, and he will be strong. (Capuchins grow to about 10 pounds and are able to jump up to nine feet.) He will also be ruled by strong hormones, and had contact with her continued, he likely would have either seen her as a potential fighting partner or a mate. Neither of which she wanted to experience.