January 6th, 2012 by admin
For over 70 years, rhesus monkeys have lived along the banks of the Silver River in Marion County. According to local legend, 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 River State Park, or during glass-bottomed boat tours at the adjacent Silver Springs theme park. The monkeys have lived a peaceful existence in the wild, but the State of Florida considers them to be “nonnative” and allows occasional trapping of monkeys.
Although there have been reports in the past that trapped monkeys were sold into the research industry, recently a tipster provided information to ARFF that strongly suggests a laboratory cage is the likely destination for monkeys leaving Marion County this month. According to the anonymous tip, a group of live-trapped monkeys will be delivered to PrimGen (formerly Three Springs Scientific), a supplier of monkeys for use in experimentation and testing.
There are methods of population control that are humane and effective, such as the trapping, sterilization and return of monkeys. In fact, a sterilization program has been carried-out before in Marion County, in collaboration with the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida.
It is a tragedy that wild monkeys from Marion County 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 labs where pain and suffering are routine. Please contact the Florida Park Service and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and demand an end to the trapping of monkeys for the research industry at Silver River State Park and other state lands.
Donald Forgione, Director
Florida Park Service
Online comment form (select “Silver River State Park” from the drop-down list)
Please copy your comments to the Florida DEP:
Herschel T. Vinyard Jr., Secretary
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Online comment form (select “Recreation & Parks” from the drop-down list)