Last October, the monkey known as the “Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay” was captured after at least three years living free in the suburbs of Tampa/St. Petersburg. At ARFF we had mixed feelings about his capture, and we weren’t thrilled when the state wildlife agency turned him over to Dade City’s Wild Things, a private zoo in Pasco County that we’ve written about before on this blog. But we’re confused and concerned that the zoo is now considering purchasing companions for the monkey from an unnamed company in South Carolina that sells animals for research and testing. “It can come in with Cornelius rather than going into a research lab,” Randy Stearns, the zoo’s president, told the Tampa Tribune.
“Cornelius” (the zoo named the monkey) is currently living in an enclosure by himself, so it’s a good thing that Dade City’s Wild Things is looking for companions for him. But purchasing monkeys would give the laboratory animal supplier exactly what they want– income to continue their cruel business. “Saving” animals by purchasing them puts money into the hands of animal abusers.
Contact Dade City’s Wild Things and urge them NOT to purchase companions for Cornelius. Urge them to adopt a needy animal instead, such as a neglected “pet” monkey or an unwanted, “surplus” monkey from a research laboratory.