Monkey Jungle – An Educational and Fun Outing in South Florida

„Where humans are caged and monkeys run wild,“ is the identifying phrase of a Florida tourist destination. No, it is not a „Planet of the Apes“ theme park, rather, it is the trade mark of Monkey Jungle, an innovative Zoological park where you can see 400 primates running free on a thirty acre preserve.

Monkey Jungle dates back to 1933 when animal behaviorist Joseph DuMond released six monkeys into the wild. These six monkeys became the Java monkey troop that welcomes visitors today to the Monkey Jungle park and nature reserve. Monkey Jungle is special in that it is one of the few primate reserves in North America and in that it is open to the public as well.

The original six monkeys are now a troop numbering in the eighties and they are the main attraction of Monkey World, as they are skilled divers who normally hunt for crabs and shell fish in rivers and mangrove swamps. At Monkey World you can watch them dive into a pool and receive fruits from the park staff.

The Java Monkeys are joined by 29 other species of primates including gibbons, guenons and spider monkeys. A notable addition to the park is the Golden Lion Tamarin, a tiny Brazilian monkey that is threatened with extinction. Going from the tiny to the large, visitors can also enjoy the antics of the lovable Orangutans at Monkey World.

The plants at Monkey World are equally spectacular as the founder spent years collecting hundreds of different species of plants, trees and palms from the Amazon rainforest of South America. A special irrigation system keeps these plants (which originate in a much wetter climate) healthy. Monkey Jungle is a living ecological system and even has its predators such as hawks, raccoons and yellow rat snakes.

The monkeys that live in this rainforest come and go as they please – the park does not have direct control over them. For this reason, Monkey Jungle’s Rainforest is a great place for scientific study of primates. Many studies have been done here in the past, and some have gained international attention.

If you want to see monkeys behaving as they would in the wild without leaving the USA, then this is the place to do it.

In addition to the primates, Monkey Jungle is home to an aviary. Monkey Jungle and Wings of Love Foundation, a non-profit organization, have created a sanctuary for captive parrots that are displaced or can no longer be cared for by their owners.

The birds are housed in huge, free-flight geodesic domes with suitable companions and grouped with other native species from their particular region of the world. The domes are furnished with natural foliage to add interest and security for the birds.

Monkey Jungle is located in Dade County and here are the vital things you should know in case you would like to visit there. It is open daily from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm and the ticket office closes at 4:00 pm.

The current admission rates are as follows: Adults: $29.95, Children ( 3 – 9 ): $23.95 and Senior Discount 65+: $27.95. There is no parking fee and prices do not include taxes. Monkey Jungle is located at 14805 SW 216th St. Miami, FL 33170 (305) 235-1611

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