- If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney
Visit Monkey Jungle
Where monkeys run wild and the humans are caged.
At Monkey Jungle, things are the opposite of what most people are used to. Instead of the monkeys being in cages like we’re see at a zoo, the human visitors are the ones caged when they visit this park. The monkeys run loose and visitors walk through tunnel cages that wind through their habitat.
Monkey Jungle began back when Joseph DuMond, a man who dreamed of started the first colony of free-ranging monkeys in the United States, released a small pack of Java monkey from Southeast Asia into a ten-acre patch of Florida land. Joe cared for the monkeys, tended to the space, and slowly grew his little piece of paradise. When Monkey Jungle reached 30 acres, three times its original size, DuMond opened it as a tourist attraction. The Java monkeys, though, didn’t take kindly to DuMond’s move; they attacked the visitors. Unable to cage thirty acres or put the monkeys in a smaller habitat, DuMond caged in the visitors.
The 1980s and ’90s were tough for Monkey Jungle, which was attacked by animal activists upset that some of the park’s monkeys were being dressed up as cowboys and astronauts. People were also upset that King, the Monkey Jungle’s gorilla, was kept in a smaller cage than the rest of the monkeys. Eventually, King was moved into a 10-acre enclosure that he had all to himself.