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