Wild monkey sanctuary could be beginning of end for decades-old colony in Florida

A new sanctuary for wild monkeys in Florida creates a double-edged sword. It gives monkeys a permanent home, but it also may wind up eliminating a colony of wild monkeys that survived for more than 70 years on its own.


National News

October 28, 2021 - 10:03 AM

A member of the Dania Beach, Florida, colony of Vervet monkeys, which might soon get a permanent home. Photo by Joe Cavaretta / South Florida Sun Sentinel / TNS

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A colony of wild monkeys in Dania Beach soon may get a permanent home, complete with fences, medical care and regular meals.

But the creation of a monkey sanctuary east of the Fort Lauderdale airport may mark the beginning of the end of a bizarre wildlife population that has survived on a wedge of swampy forest for more than 70 years.

Dania Beach Vervet Project, a nonprofit organization, is negotiating with Hertz Corp. to lease 3.75 acres next to a rental car facility to house 17 of the 45 or so African Vervet monkeys in the group. With a fenced facility, they could legally take care of the monkeys, providing them with food and veterinary care, which wouldn’t otherwise be possible under state law since they’re a nonnative species.

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