The monkeys, rhesus macaques, originate from two small groups released into the Silver Springs state park almost 100 years ago by an eccentric boat captain. Their numbers have soared since then, and experts predict there could be 400 roaming the park by 2022.
How did the monkeys get to Ocala Florida?
Tooey wanted to jungle-up his cruises, so he bought six rhesus macaques to Ocala. He let them loose on a small island on the river, still known as Monkey Island, and almost as soon as they were on dry land, the monkeys swam away. That small troop found a cornucopia of tasty plants, insects and bird eggs.
Are monkeys a problem in Florida?
First it was pythons, then it was iguanas… now it’s monkeys! The state of Florida is quickly becoming the hot-spot for unwanted tropical wildlife. According to First Coast News, state regulators confirm a dozen sightings of Rhesus Macaque monkeys over the past eight months. …
Can I own a monkey in Florida?
Florida prohibits owning Class I animals as pets. Class II animals include smaller carnivores and primates, such as monkeys, wolves and coyotes. Consider any animal not on the Class I or II list as Class III. Florida allows personal possession of Class II and III animals for qualified individuals.
What kind of monkeys live in Florida?
Florida. Various colonies of rhesus and other monkey species, such as common squirrel monkeys and vervet monkeys, have been found in Florida. They are thought to have gained freedom after zoo and wildlife park facilities were destroyed in hurricanes, most notably Hurricane Andrew.
Are there wild monkeys living in Florida?
How much does a monkey cost in Florida?
Initial Cost of Purchasing a Pet Monkey Pet monkeys typically cost between $4,000 and $8,000 each. However, this will depend on the monkey’s age, rarity and temperament. Younger, more rare and friendlier monkeys tend to cost more.
What kind of monkeys are spreading herpes in Florida?
Feral primates capable of spreading deadly herpes are plaguing Floridians and the state’s wildlife, experts complain. And the rhesus macaques’ ranks are growing.
Why are there so many monkeys in Florida?
Florida’s primate problem began in 1938 when a tour boat operator known as “Colonel Tooey” released six rhesus macaques onto a small island within what is now the state park. He procured the monkeys from a primate dealer in New York City with the intention to create a Tarzan-themed attraction on the island, but his plans quickly unraveled.
Are there wild monkeys in Silver Springs Florida?
Troops of Silver Springs macaques have caused mischief outside the park as well. One large group of rhesus monkeys recently raided a deer-feeder behind a house in Ocala—and yes, there are photographs.
Is the rhesus macaque monkey dangerous to humans?
A rhesus macaque monkey and her offspring in Silver Springs, Fla., in 2017. Wildlife managers in Florida say they want to remove the roaming monkeys from the state in light of reports that the animals are believed to be carrying a herpes virus that could be dangerous to humans.