Feral rhesus macaque
A research colony was established by the Caribbean Primate Research Center of the University of Puerto Rico on the island of Cayo Santiago, off Puerto Rico. There are no predators on the island, and humans are not permitted to land, except as part of the research program.
Silver River State Park
A colony of rhesus macaques was established in the Silver River State Park in Florida around the spring of 1938. The monkeys were released by tour boat operator Colonel Tooey, to enhance his Jungle Cruise ride. A traditional story that the monkeys were released for scenery enhancement in the Tarzan movies that were filmed at that location is false, as the only Tarzan movie filmed in the area, 1939's Tarzan Finds a Son! contains no rhesus macaques. The monkeys remain along the Silver River to this day. In addition, various colonies of rhesus and other monkey species are speculated to be the result of zoos and wildlife parks destroyed in hurricanes, most notably Hurricane Andrew.
As of Sept. 12, 2013 more than 1000 live in the state and state officials have caught more than 700 of the monkeys in the past decade — most of which tested positive for the Herpes B Virus. Wildlife officials now consider the monkeys a public health hazard.
The "Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay" is a rhesus macaque that has been on the loose and evading capture for approximately four years (as of February 2013) in St. Petersburg, Florida. The monkey is thought to be a male that weighs 30 pounds.
Authorities are not certain where the Tampa Bay monkey came from. One possibility is that it could have been separated from the troupe of wild monkeys in Silver River State Park, approximately 103 miles north of St. Petersburg. Another possibility is that it could have escaped from an owner who does not have a permit and thus is not registered with authorities.
A Facebook page for the monkey has been set up, which has more than 82,600 fans (as of Feb. 4, 2012). The monkey is shy and not considered a threat to humans. Its continued success at avoiding capture has been compared to the TV series The Fugitive. The monkey reportedly looks both ways to check for traffic before crossing the street. There is also speculation that the monkey has become a "drug addict" because of repeated attempts by the Florida Wildlife and Fish Commission to unsuccessfully capture the monkey through the use of tranquilizer darts. The monkey has been mentioned in national media, including in an episode of the Colbert Report.
On the afternoon of October 24, 2012, wildlife officials spotted the macaque on a low hanging branch in a tree in St. Petersburg's Lake Maggiore neighborhood and used a tranquilizer dart to first immobilize and then capture it.
There is also a notable colony of rhesus macaques on Morgan Island, one of the Sea Islands in the South Carolina Lowcountry. They were imported in the 1970s for use in the local labs and are by all accounts thriving.
- "Colonel" was his first name, according to The New York Times, August 28, 2012
- Wolfe, Linda, Cambridge University Press (2002). Primates Face to Face. p. 320. ISBN 052179109X.
- Hiers, Fred (January 5, 2012). "Catching, selling Silver River monkeys is lucrative". The Gainesville Sun. Gainesville, FL. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
- Elusive monkey romps in Tampa Bay area, Associated Press, March 24, 2010
- Monkey, loose, eludes police St. Petersburg, WTSP-TV CBS, March 4, 2010
- Kegley, Joe (2007-05-15). "Silver River - Florida". WildlifeSouth. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- "How Far is It? Distance Server: As the Crow Flies". indo.com. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- After a year on the lam, is wily monkey too smart to capture?, St. Petersburg Times, March 5, 2010
- Fugitive monkey has pursuers going bananas, MSNBC, March 24, 2010
- , ABC News, March 25, 2010
- The State | Homepage
- Taub DM, Mehlman PT (April 1989). "Development of the Morgan Island rhesus monkey colony". P R Health Sci J 8 (1): 159–69. PMID 2780958.
- Photograph of the Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay taken by Renée Barth
- Weekend funny: Stephen Colbert investigates "Monkey on the lam" in St. Petersburg article with video footage from The Colbert Report
- http://www.asylum.com/2010/04/12/mystery-monkey-grabs-a-free-buffet-lunch-host-grabs-up-close-vi/ Update from AOL
- http://www.asylum.com/2010/03/23/mystery-monkey-reappears-takes-a-swim-steals-some-grapefruit/ Update from AOL
- http://www.asylum.com/2010/03/12/loose-rhesus-monkey-tampa-bay-florida-vernon-yates/ Article from AOL