Silver River State Park and the area surrounding Ocala is one of my favorite hangouts. I have spent so many wonderous hours hiking down to the Silver River and the Ocklawaha River simply to enjoy the peace and quiet. Silver River at dawn with the sun glistening on the water is one of the most gorgeous sights imaginable. The monkeys are a bonus. As you sit watching the river flow past you can picture yourself in Africa.
I have been going to this area since I was a kid. I held my first snake at Silver Springs with a man named Ross Allen and have a certificate from him to prove it. I was 9 years old and the monkeys were around even then.
This story is disturbing on many fronts. The most disturbing is they are allowing a trapper to come here and trap these monkeys and then sell them to research laboratories. They claim they are aggressive and spread disease. They are not native to Florida but could be controlled if they were sterilized, but the claim is this is too expensive.
I say, leave them alone. Of course, I don't live in that area but they have been there for more than 70 years and now they want to get rid of them.
Check out the story here and then write the state and see if anything can be done.
A morning on the Silver River just won't be the same without them.