In our blog on October 12 about our Silver River paddle, we promised some monkey pictures after we had edited them.
In the late 1930s Colonel Tooey, who ran the river-cruise tourist attraction, bought several Rhesus macaques and released them on Monkey Island, near Devils Elbow on the Silver River. He thought they would liven up his jungle cruise. The monkeys found a favorable habitat there and quickly expanded throughout the neighboring forest. Now, 80+ years later, there are at least separate 4 troops along the Silver River. They have also expanded along the Ocklawaha River into the Ocala National Forest and perhaps as far south as Lake Griffen.
For years people motoring up and down the river and visiting the Silver Springs attraction feed the monkeys, sometimes creating problems, both for the monkey and humans. If you see the monkeys, please do not feed them. Give them 50 feet or so of space, then sit back and enjoy the antics. Watch out particularly for the big alpha males and females as they will charge with bared teeth if they think you are a threat to the troop and the females will vigorously protect the young ones.
After viewing the still photos you can watch some short videos of one troop crossing the Silver River using overhead trees on our video page HERE.