DANIA BEACH, Fla. (WFOR) – The fight is on to save monkeys and find them new homes. They live in an unlikely part of Broward County and one group thinks it’s dangerous for them, so they work to find a safer home for them.
“I heard about it, but I didn’t think it was true! John Smith exclaimed.
“They’re cute,” added retired Hollywood police officer Otis Haney.
The monkeys live at Dania Beach. They were brought here from Africa by Eleanor Roosevelt 70 years ago for biomedical research. About a dozen of the original group escaped, so these little perennial vervets ended up living around the Fort Lauderdale airport.
Today, around 17 monkeys from the same social group might have to conduct their monkey business behind closed doors, but not because they are too wild, but because they are wild and face many dangers. .
“Mainly car collisions, electrocutions and unknown disappearances, which means the monkey has been trapped. They are mostly women because women do not leave the social group, ”explained Missy Williams, director of the Dania Beach Vervet Project.
“Since these monkeys are not native, we cannot trap, treat or release if there is a need for medical treatment,” Williams added.
This is precisely why Williams, who has a doctorate. in biology, wants to take about 17 of the most vulnerable in the group and put them in an enclosed 3.5-acre lot, a banana throw from where they now live.
“Throughout the 3.5-acre enclosure, we would like to build a mobile tunnel system so that they can actually move around the entire 3.5-acre system,” Williams said.
She’s hoping the move will prevent sad scenarios like when Beloved Cupcake couldn’t convince her baby to latch on, ultimately losing her adorable little monkey face to dehydration.
“Usually they hang on to mom right away, end up carrying the baby on their tummy, but we noticed right away that this child was not latching on,” Williams added.
Despite Williams’ well-meaning plan, not everyone clings to the idea of putting about a third of these little rascals in captivity.
“I think they do well in the wild. There is a lot of food here for them, ”said John Smith.
How long will it take for vervets to move into their new home? Well, it all depends on how quickly the Dania Beach Vervet project gets funding and permits from Fish & Wildlife.
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