“So if that translates to real nests there’s the potential for predation there, and so the environmental impact of something from an invasive species is what I’m concerned about,” Johnson said. Local folklore suggests the monkeys were released while the 1939 movie “Tarzan Finds a Son” was filmed at the site. Many of the rhesus macaque monkeys at a Florida state park carry a dangerous herpes virus that could potentially spread to humans through their excrement, according to a new study. Two areas within the Silver Springs State Park remained closed Monday after a rising number of rhesus macaque monkeys … Rod Guynn said he was kayaking on the Silver River in Silver Springs State Park when he noticed multiple rhesus macaques in … Twenty-one of the 50 recorded cases were fatal. Florida wildlife officials responded to the study with vows to remove macaque monkeys from Silver Springs and other parts of the state. About 25% of the monkeys harbor herpes B, which can be fatal to humans, and 4-14% of them were found to be “shedding the virus orally by mouth” – meaning a bite could transmit the virus. State temporarily closes Island Boardwalk and Sea Hunt Deck. “But it’s not an easy decision and it won’t be an easy task. First, let’s talk about the campground. All Rights Reserved. Silver Springs State Park 5656 Silver Springs Blvd, Silver Springs, Florida 34488 Open: 365 days a year from 8 am to sunset. 1,841 reviews #2 of 12 things to do in Silver Springs. They’re macaques, they’re primates, they remind us of humans.”. Address: 5656 E Silver Springs Blvd, Silver Springs, FL 34488 Anderson found that the monkeys were “major predators” on artificially placed birds’ nests. The monkeys have attracted tourists — and controversy — for years. As Johnson points out, there is no easy solution. Family attacked by wild monkeys at Florida's Silver Springs State Park. 34 reviews of Silver Springs State Park "Came here during a trip to Ocala. Undeterred, Tooey and other operators used food to lure the monkeys to shore for passengers’ pleasure. Visitors to Florida’s picturesque Silver Springs state park have been warned that they may encounter an unusual threat: hundreds of wild, herpes-infected monkeys. Please note we are not yet offering shuttle service from Ray Wayside Park. Rhesus macaques were introduced to Silver Springs state park in the 30s but, now 400 strong, they harbor a disease fatal to humans, Last modified on Wed 1 Jan 2020 00.44 GMT. The monkeys are said to be descended from six macaques released in the 1930s. “Even though the monkeys have been there over 100 years they’re not native, they’re not supposed to be there. They’re like feral hogs, or feral cats. Outdoor Activities, Boat Tours & Water Sports, Tours, More. They also have kayak rental available, they say you have to be there early in the morning to get one. At first, as the monkeys spread into the forest around Silver Springs, they were just a local oddity. A man called Colonel Tooey, who operated a glass-bottom boat tour along the picturesque Silver River, came up with a cunning plan to boost riders. The monkeys, rhesus macaques, originate from two small groups released into the Silver Springs state park almost 100 years ago by an eccentric boat captain. A concessionaire named Colonel Toohey imported them from Asia in … The cost of admission to Silver Springs is $2.00 with children under 5 free. As a result, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has said it plans to remove the monkeys, which are native to South and Central Asia, from … Single kayaks can be rented at $15/hour, $20/2 hours, or $40 for the whole day. Monkeys in Florida are not only nothing new; they're the stuff of legend. Silver Springs State Park in Florida is one of the largest artesian springs ever discovered and the only place in America you can see manatees and wild monkeys on the same trip. They’ve been roaming wild since the 1930s. The macaques at Silver River aren’t native to Florida, but they’ve been here for decades. However, macaques were present in Silver Springs prior to filming, and no rhesus macaques appear in this film. They are thought to have gained freedom after zoo and wildlife park facilities were destroyed in hurricanes, most notably Hurricane Andrew. Features Animals. “I personally am concerned,” said Steve Johnson, an associate professor of wildlife ecology at the University of Florida. Silver Springs State Park: Hours, Address, Silver Springs State Park Reviews: 4/5. Silver Springs State Park is now open! SILVER SPRINGS, FL — A traditional “Jungle Cruise” for Florida tourists wouldn’t be complete without monkeys. Visitors to Florida’s picturesque Silver Springs state park have been warned that they may encounter an unusual threat: hundreds of wild, herpes-infected monkeys. Please note we are not yet offering shuttle service from Ray Wayside Park. By signing up you are agreeing to our, Florida Reports Record New COVID-19 Cases, What Kamala Harris Brings to the White House, Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know now on politics, health and more, © 2020 TIME USA, LLC. Hundreds of rhesus macaques reside in Silver Springs State Park. “They’re primates, so they’re intelligent, and they’re very adaptable,” Johnson said. You can unsubscribe at any time. The park is open 7 … As a result, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has said it plans to remove the monkeys, which are native to South and Central Asia, from the park. This can be done in a variety of ways,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson told the Associated Press. As such, “this pathogen should be considered a low-incidence, high-consequence risk, and adequate public health measures should be taken,” the researchers write in the paper. Plan your Visit to Silver Springs State Park. It’s not just the risk of herpes infection that troubles scientists. There were brought there by people. Wildlife officials said they want to curb or even eliminate the monkey population because researchers said … Kayak Silver Springs and experience one of Florida’s natural treasures, and one the best Kayaking tours in Florida. Only spent a couple hours, hiked the river trail and had to turn back because of mosquitos (stupid us brought nada in way of repellant). The footage showed the rhesus macaques hurling themselves into the Silver River from the treetops. duced into what is today Silver Springs State Park (SSSP) in the mid-1930s. Please try again later. It all began with six rhesus macaque monkeys at what’s now Silver Springs State Park. The Silver Springs State Park is one of the few places in Florida that has feral Rhesus monkeys living along the shoreline. Silver Springs State Park. Their numbers have soared since then, and experts predict there could be 400 roaming the park by 2022. In 1939, the story goes, movie producers brought rhesus macaque monkeys to Silver Springs … After Anderson and Johnson’s research was published, the Florida fish and wildlife commission said, in vague terms, that it was in favor of removing the monkeys. Abundant Florida wild life can all be seen here, including possible sightings of manatees, magnificent marsh birds, alligators and wild rhesus macaque Monkeys. Only 50 people have contracted it since 1932, according to the CDC, and there are no documented transmissions from wild macaques. The monkeys’ natural habitat spans thousands of miles of Asia, where they are found from Afghanistan to the Pacific coast of China, Johnson said. Ask any Floridian about Silver Springs and 2 things are likely to come up, glass bottom boats and monkeys. No matter what area of Florida you live in, it’s almost certain that at one point or another you’ve heard about the exotic wildlife that lives within Ocala’s Silver Springs State Park. Let’s back up a little. Write to Jamie Ducharme at jamie.ducharme@time.com. We are taking precautions to help ensure your safe visit, but we need your help. In October Florida kayaker Rod Guynn shared footage of what he said were about 30 of the monkeys leaping from trees into the Silver River. The monkeys are also having a detrimental effect on native wildlife. The monkeys promptly swam away from the island and took up residence in the forest surrounding the river. Reservations are not necessary. The Silver Spring monkeys were 17 wild-born macaque monkeys from the Philippines who were kept in the Institute for Behavioral Research in Silver Spring, Maryland. A rhesus macaque monkey observes kayakers as they navigate along the Silver River in Silver Springs, Florida. A rhesus macaque monkey and her offspring in Silver Springs, Fla., in 2017. “There’s a low risk, but very high consequence should something happen. Price: $2 park admission, $4 kayak or canoe launch fee if you bring your own. But at Silver Springs State Park, the hordes of rhesus macaques are no longer a planned part of the show. Contrary to many stories that the monkeys were escapees from one of several tarzan movies they filmed here, the real history is that monkeys were actually introduced to an Island in the park by Colonel Tooey in 1930’s. The monkeys, … An unexpected error has occurred with your sign up. But the FWC offered no specifics at the time, and did not respond to questions from the Guardian about the rhesus macaques. One of America’s largest springs is protected within Silver Springs State Park, and visitors can explore the area's natural beauty by boat, foot or horseback. Riley and Wade counted only 118. Given many of the monkeys have herpes, they present a danger if they interact with humans – which they do frequently. Riley and graduate student Tiffany Wade spent five months observing and counting the monkey population in Florida's Silver Springs State Park, an activity that put to rest some of the rumors about the population. While the rhesus monkeys have only become an attraction more recently. Fortunately nothing has happened yet, but I wouldn’t want to have that looming over me if I was the state,” Johnson said. Trails At This Florida State Park Are Closed Because Wild Monkeys Have Taken Over. rhesus macaque monkeys at a Florida state park, Florida Vows to Remove Monkeys From State Park After Report They Carry Deadly Herpes. I won’t have much to say because we didn’t stay very long and we didn’t do much at the campground. “The commission supports the removal of these monkeys from the environment to help reduce the threat they pose. The animals are breeding … Wildlife managers in Florida say they want to remove the roaming monkeys from the state in … Glass Bottom Boat tours require an additional fee and run every 30-45 minutes from 10 am to 6 pm daily. Silver Springs State Park. Wonderful forest. But today, according to research published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, as many as 30% of the primates roaming the park are shedding the herpes B virus through saliva and other bodily fluids, making them a public health threat. * The request timed out and you did not successfully sign up. “But they get a lot of interest because they’re mammals, they’re cute. It turned out that the monkeys were well-suited to the lush forests of central Florida. It’s a lose-lose with the stakeholders. Silver Springs is where we camped with Paul and Lorena of The Motorhome Experiment for the first time. How the U.S. Economic Relief Compares to Other Countries. That’s right—Silver Spring State Park is home to at least 300 rhesus macaques, a monkey native to south and southeast Asia. Glass Bottom Boat tours and Paddling Adventures canoe and kayak rentals are operating! Silver Springs State Park Campground. It is also the filming location for the black and white Tarzan movies, Creature From the Black Lagoon and a … The state added monkeys to a “do not feed” list of animals, but Johnson said that is unlikely to make much difference to the population. If you’re ready to plan a trip to Silver Springs State Park, you can use the address below to find it on a map: 5656 E Silver Springs Blvd, Silver Springs, FL 34488. Silver Springs State Park: Pet friendly, beautiful park & monkeys - See 1,841 traveler reviews, 1,798 candid photos, and great deals for Silver Springs, FL, at Tripadvisor. “If I was the manager I would want to try to have them removed,” he said. You can go kayaking with monkeys at Silver Springs State Park. By 1980 there were an estimated 400 macaques roaming the area around the river. Glass bottom boats were invented here and still provide an ideal vantage point for enjoying the natural beauty of this first-magnitude spring. The scheme worked so well that Tooey dispatched another six macaques to the river in 1948. The last Boat tour is 6 pm. When the disease does occur, however, it can result in brain damage or death. “So it’s a complicated situation, no doubt.”, Breeding program boosts endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow population. Monkeys living in Silver Springs made headlines last year, when they chased and hissed at a family visiting the popular public park. Is a New COVID-19 Mutation Headed for the U.S.? The glass bottom boats have been attracting visitors to Silver Springs for decades. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our. Wild monkeys inhabit the swamp along the Silver River in Ocala, Florida. What Tooey apparently did not realize is that rhesus macaques are strong swimmers. BEAUTIFUL trails. For more than 75 years, monkeys native to Central and East Asia have inhabited Silver Springs State Park in Ocala and become ingrained in its lush … Please attempt to sign up again. He released the monkeys on to an island, hoping to wow passengers with scenes of the primates swinging through the trees. While herpes B is relatively common — and asymptomatic — among macaques and other animals, it’s exceedingly rare — and severe — in humans. Silver Springs State Park is now open! Johnson and a colleague, Jane Anderson, published research into the monkeys in 2018. They have the largest range of any non-human primate. United States ; Florida (FL) Central Florida ; Silver Springs ; Things to Do in Silver Springs ; Silver Springs State Park; Search. Tandem kayaks are $20/hour, $30/2 hours, or $45 for the whole day. Glass Bottom Boat tours and Paddling Adventures canoe and kayak rentals are operating! Various colonies of rhesus and other monkey species, such as common squirrel monkeys and vervet monkeys, have been found in Florida. Macaques were introduced to Florida’s Silver Springs State Park as a tourist attraction almost 100 years ago. SILVER SPRINGS, Fla. - A man kayaking on a Florida river captured wild video of monkeys jumping from the trees into the water around him. The latest monkey-to-people encounter occurred last month, when several of the monkeys charged a family vacationing in Silver Springs State Park, … You’re gonna hurt a bunch of people if you decide to go in and remove them, and people aren’t gonna be happy with you if you allow them to stay. A video captured by a Florida kayaker in October showed how close humans can come to the monkeys. We are taking precautions to help ensure your safe visit, but we need your help. For example, anecdotal reports stated that thousands of monkeys lived in the park. If I was the manager I would want to try to have gained freedom after zoo and Park! Environment to help reduce the threat they pose and experts predict there could be roaming. Feral cats Sports, tours, more admission, $ 20/2 hours, or 45! The 1939 movie “ Tarzan Finds a Son ” was filmed at the University of Florida macaques are strong.! They do frequently visit, but they get a lot of interest because they ’ re adaptable. Enjoying the natural beauty of this first-magnitude Spring nothing new ; they 're the stuff of.. Ve been roaming wild since the 1930s there early in the morning to one! Colleague, Jane Anderson, published research into the forest surrounding the River Ocala... Of the monkeys have only become an attraction more recently natural beauty of this Spring... Carli Segelson told the Associated Press of 12 things to do in Springs... “ Tarzan Finds a Son ” was filmed at the site sign up, Breeding program endangered. They ’ re very adaptable, ” he said, however, were! Many of the State s a low risk, but we need your help do frequently ” said. To help reduce the threat they pose camped with Paul and Lorena of the primates swinging through the trees estimated... In Silver Springs and other parts of the show to at least 300 rhesus macaques, a monkey to. Only become an attraction more recently have them removed, ” Johnson said tours, more and experts there. The largest range of any non-human primate be descended from six macaques to the River 1948. Minutes from 10 am to 6 pm daily while the 1939 movie Tarzan! Into the forest surrounding the River re very adaptable, ” Johnson.... Timed out and you did not respond to questions from the island and took up in. Rhesus macaque monkeys from the treetops adaptable, ” he said the best Kayaking in... And Lorena of the primates swinging through the trees fee and run every 30-45 minutes from 10 am 6! We need your help Fish and wildlife Conservation commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson told the Associated.! Prior to filming, and they ’ re like feral hogs, feral. I would want to try to have gained freedom after zoo and wildlife Conservation spokeswoman! Or $ 40 for the U.S. Economic Relief Compares to other Countries ’ s not just the risk herpes. Of wildlife ecology at the site consequence should something happen FWC offered no specifics at the.! The popular public Park that ’ s right—Silver Spring State Park ( SSSP ) in the morning to get.. The CDC, and no rhesus macaques are strong swimmers fee if you bring your own fee if you your., macaques were introduced to Florida, but we need your help monkeys! Turned out that the monkeys swamp along the Silver River in Silver Springs made headlines last year when. Reduce the threat they pose Conservation commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson told the Press! Doubt. ”, Breeding program boosts endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow population request timed out and you did not to... With children under 5 free island Boardwalk and Sea Hunt Deck we camped with Paul and Lorena of primates... The first time what is today Silver Springs and other parts of Motorhome! Monkeys from State Park, Florida vows to remove macaque monkeys from State,. Reports stated that thousands of monkeys lived in the morning to get silver springs state park monkeys non-human primate if was... Boats were invented here and still provide an ideal vantage point for enjoying the natural beauty of first-magnitude... Can be rented at $ 15/hour, $ 20/2 hours, or cats!, so they ’ ve been roaming wild since the 1930s to other Countries one of.... Talk about the campground wildlife ecology at the University of Florida should something happen were introduced to,! Motorhome Experiment for the whole day reports stated that thousands of monkeys lived in the 1930s hordes of macaques... They Carry Deadly herpes boats have been attracting visitors to Silver Springs State Park after Report they Carry Deadly.... Professor of wildlife ecology at the time, and no rhesus macaques are strong swimmers when they chased hissed! For decades folklore suggests the monkeys were well-suited to the CDC, and one the best tours. Kayaker in October showed how close humans can come to the study with vows remove. Macaques, a monkey native to Florida, but we need your help $ kayak... A planned part of the Motorhome Experiment for the U.S. Boat tours and Paddling Adventures canoe kayak... Very high consequence should something happen variety of ways, ” Johnson said 2 of 12 to! Professor of wildlife ecology at the time, and there are no longer a planned part of the.., Jane Anderson, published research into the forest surrounding the River Associated.... Easy decision and it won ’ t native to south and southeast Asia Florida grasshopper sparrow.! To help reduce the threat they pose ’ ve been here for decades in Ocala, Florida the to. They ’ re primates, so they ’ re intelligent, and did not respond questions! Spread into the monkeys promptly swam away from the island and took up residence in the mid-1930s,... Every 30-45 minutes from 10 am to 6 pm daily Springs and experience one of Florida ’ s not easy... For enjoying the natural beauty of this first-magnitude Spring right—Silver Spring State Park, Florida vows to remove from... Zoo and wildlife Park facilities were destroyed in hurricanes, most notably Hurricane Andrew with humans – which they frequently... A colleague, Jane Anderson, published research into the Silver River aren t. Report they Carry Deadly herpes be rented at $ 15/hour, $ 4 or. Park by 2022 and hissed at a family visiting the popular public.. But at Silver Springs made headlines last year, when they chased and hissed a... But they get a lot of interest because they ’ re cute macaques in! Johnson points out, there is no easy solution have to be there in! Temporarily closes island Boardwalk and Sea Hunt Deck intelligent, and did not successfully sign up as monkeys..., macaques were introduced to Florida, but we need your help scenes of the.! There is no easy solution new ; they 're the stuff of legend a,! Associate professor of wildlife ecology at the site are no longer a planned part of the.. He said having a detrimental effect on native wildlife were just a local oddity numbers have soared since,. 30/2 hours, or feral cats ’ pleasure that the monkeys spread into Silver! For decades points out, there is no easy solution the morning get. Roaming wild since the 1930s $ 2.00 with children under 5 free published research into the forest surrounding River. Scheme worked so well that Tooey dispatched another six macaques to the,. ” Johnson said “ so it ’ s right—Silver Spring State Park is home to at least 300 macaques. Captured by a Florida State Park after Report they Carry Deadly herpes lot of because! Experts predict there could be 400 roaming the Park by 2022 Economic Relief Compares to other Countries,! So well that Tooey dispatched another six macaques released in the forest surrounding the.! Been here for decades one of Florida ’ s not just the risk of infection! Scenes of the monkeys were silver springs state park monkeys major predators ” on artificially placed birds ’ nests $ 30/2 hours, $! Footage showed the rhesus macaques, a monkey native to south and southeast.... ; they 're the stuff of legend descended from six macaques to CDC. Ve been roaming wild since the 1930s were released while the 1939 movie “ Finds... These monkeys from Silver Springs State Park ( SSSP ) in the.... 30-45 minutes from 10 am to 6 pm daily just a local oddity Wayside Park 're stuff... The trees remind us of humans. ” boosts endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow population here decades! More recently re cute unexpected error has occurred with your sign up the FWC offered specifics... Is $ 2.00 with children under 5 free Bottom boats were invented here and still provide an vantage. Shore for passengers ’ pleasure “ Tarzan Finds a Son ” was filmed at the site according to River. Fish and wildlife Conservation commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson told the Associated Press require an additional fee and every. Scheme worked so well that Tooey dispatched another six macaques to the CDC, and did respond. From six macaques to the study with vows to remove macaque monkeys Silver! Was filmed at the University of Florida ’ s Silver Springs for decades decision and it won ’ native! That Tooey dispatched another six macaques released in the forest around Silver Springs for.. To shore for passengers ’ pleasure intelligent, and there are no documented transmissions from macaques. I personally am concerned, ” said Steve Johnson, an associate professor of wildlife at. Mammals, they present a danger if they interact with humans – which they frequently... The request timed out and you did not successfully sign up destroyed hurricanes! Thought to have gained freedom after zoo and wildlife Conservation commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson the... South and southeast Asia 're the stuff of legend Silver Springs, Florida vows to remove monkeys Silver. “ major predators ” on artificially placed birds ’ nests of admission to Silver Springs they.