Florida Guide > Other Florida
Want to experience something different on your next Florida holiday? Well, get in your car and take yourselves off to Monkey Jungle where humans are caged and the monkeys run free! This unique park is home to nearly 400 primates, most running free on a 30 acre reserve. This reserve is a protected habitat and the only one the general public are allowed to explore.
When visitors arrive they are greeted by a troop of Java monkeys around 70 in number. These monkeys forage in the surrounding jungle for their natural foods. They also collect crabs and shellfish for they are all excellent swimmers which can be witnessed at the scheduled feeding times where they will dive into the pool to receive food from the guides. There are 30 species of primates at Monkey Jungle which includes spider monkeys, colobus, gibbons and guenons. Something that Monkey Jungle is very proud of is their participation in the international effort to save the golden lion tamarins threatened with extinction.
One of the outstanding features of Monkey Jungle is the Amazonian Rainforest which is the only semi-tropical rainforest in North America. There are hundreds of different species of plants, palms and trees gathered by Frank Dumond over a 5 year period mainly from around Peru. Because Florida only gets approximately 30% of the rainfall that Peru does Monkey Jungle has an irrigation system to make up the shortfall. It also has predators such as racoons, hawks and snakes, but as some monkeys eat meat the predators can also be preyed upon! As the monkeys are not caged they are free to come and go as they please and for this reason it is an ideal place for scientific studies.
There are three species of monkey residing in the forest; howlers, black-capped capuchins (which is the largest monkey found here) and squirrel monkeys.
As well as monkeys, Monkey Jungle has an aviary. This is a sanctuary created with the Wings of Love Foundation (a non-profit organisation) for captive parrots and displaced ones that can no longer be cared for by their owners. The birds are housed in free-flight domes with suitable companions for the species.
There is an excellent gift shop which specialises in collectables, souvenirs and many gifts. There is also a snack bar which provides pizza, hot dogs, soda and ice cream to stop anyone going hungry!
Monkey Jungle is located at 14805 SW 216th Street, Miami. Check the local map for exact directions.
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Page added on: 31 October 2006
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