For over 70 years, rhesus monkeys have lived along the banks of the Silver River and Oklawaha River in North Central Florida. The monkeys were introduced into the area by a tour boat operator in the 1930s. Spotting the monkeys can be a highlight of canoe trips in the Silver Springs State Park. The monkeys have lived a peaceful existence in the wild, but the State of Florida considers them to be "nonnative" and allows trapping of monkeys.
Between 1998-2012, approx. 800 monkeys were trapped and removed from the area and sold to research and testing laboratories.
Photo of monkeys at Silver Springs State Park, by Ann E. Hamilton
Let the Silver River monkeys live!
It is a tragedy that wild monkeys living along the Silver River and Oklawaha River are torn from their families and forest homes and sold to research and testing laboratories.
Once wild and free, these sensitive and intelligent animals will end their lives in the isolation of a laboratory. Please end the trapping of monkeys for the research industry at Silver Springs State Park, on Cross Florida Greenway properties and other state lands.
There are methods of population control that are humane and effective, such as the trapping, sterilization and return of monkeys. In addition, rules against feeding or harassing monkeys along the rivers should be strictly enforced.
The monkeys are appreciated by both locals and tourists. Please, don't allow the trapping program to tarnish the image of Florida's state parks.