Monkeys in Dania?

Was at a storage place (Cubesmart) off Taylor road in Dania yesterday evening helping my girlfriend get stuff out of storage. Right around dusk I happened to look over towards the rental car / Park and Fly lot and here comes all these monkeys climbing over the barbed wire fence into the lot from the woods bordering it.
Must have have been about 20 of them. Some were like 3ft tall! :huh


  • copout@castaways[email protected] Posts: 5,779 Admiral
    that's racist!

    They've been there for many years. Very agressive!!!
    Used to fish the mangrove canals as a kid off Dania Beach Blvd.

    There was gas an old gas station converted into a tourist shop with beach gear and shells.The owner had a key to the gate and would let me and some buddys in to fish.

    Lotta snookies........LOTTA monkeys that would get with ya if ya got to close.

    There was some kind of test lab in the 80's in the area.I "think" it caught fire and some of the varmints got loose.
    Everything affects everything.You can't just change one thing.Every thing is connected.
  • Native FloridianNative Floridian Posts: 702 Officer
    Dania Beach monkeys endangered, wildlife officials warn

    They come out, about 2 p.m. each day, and help themselves to the bananas and mangoes left for them in a basket attached to a fence behind Motel 6 in Dania Beach.

    At one time, they used to pelt gawkers with the fruit.

    But times are tough, even for the troops of long-tailed African monkeys who have lived in the mangroves of Dania Beach for the past 50 years.
    At one time about 100 monkeys roamed the mangroves, often venturing into visible places that sometimes dazzled and sometimes frightened visitors. Now there are less than 20.

    ``It's certainly not an urban legend because they are real,'' said Dania Beach city attorney Tom Ansboro. ``But they are not a problem. Like any other animal they have survived there.''

    The Vervet monkeys live about a mile from the beach, on the north side of Dania Beach Boulevard, and in the mangroves near the Dania Cut-off Canal.

    But development has forced them to creep into other areas for food, and sometimes they've been struck and killed by cars or caught by trappers.

    The monkeys, which locals sometimes mistakenly call spider monkeys, became nationally famous in 1993 when National Public Radio profiled them. But in the intervening years, the primates, while still free-roaming -- have become a vanishing species.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the Vervets have been spotted as far north as West Palm Beach, though they are primarily in the Dania Beach area.

    They are among four different species of monkeys roaming the wilds of Florida.

    Dania Beach residents now pay the monkeys no mind, and they've become something of a beloved neighbor that the community would like to protect.

    Monkeys are nonnative to South Florida, so the mystery of how the primates nestled in Dania Beach has also been a source of debate, myth and urban legend.

    One story goes that Hollywood producers once filmed a Tarzan episode in Dania Beach, brought the monkeys in for props and later abandoned them. Another is that the furry creatures were bred for research that helped lead to a cure for polio.

    One person who has studied them closely is Dania Beach Mayor C.K. ``Mac'' McElyea, president of the historical society.

    He said the real story is that the area was once an Indian Trading Post and tourist stop. In 1939, the land was purchased and transformed into a chimpanzee farm, which was used for experiments that McElyea said helped lead to a cure for polio.

    About that time, the monkeys were imported from Africa to be sent to zoos.

    In 1949, the property was resold, and it became one of the first zoos in South Florida, complete with elephants, lions and other exotic animals.

    One day, an animal handler accidentally left the monkey cage open, and all of them escaped into the wild. Some were caught, but others moved out to the wetlands where they reproduced into packs.

    ``They pretty much mind their own business,'' said McElyea. ``Some people feed them bananas and lettuce.''

    Tom Minnich, who produced a documentary on the monkeys in 1994, said tourists and residents feeding the monkeys has led to their demise. As they become used to being fed, they have become more vulnerable.

    At least two of the monkeys live behind Motel 6, along Dania Beach Boulevard, while others live near Nature's Cove.

    Motel 6 housekeepers and other hotel visitors look forward to watching them come out each afternoon.

    ``Their tails are longer than their bodies,'' said one housekeeper at the motel.

    Minnich continues to follow them, but won't divulge where they are hiding.

    ``They pretty much keep to themselves,'' he said.

    There are two troops -- or families -- on the north side of the canal, and at one time there was another large troop behind the motel. Minnich studied the motel troop for a year and by the time he was finished his documentary, the troop had dwindled from 30 members to 20.

    ``They aren't gone,'' Minnich said. ``But they are endangered. People need to stop feeding them; tourists need to stay away from them. Nature needs to be left alone.''
  • ChuddybuckrivetChuddybuckrivet Posts: 3,156 Officer
    Cool! I saw pretty close to 20 yesterday. I didnt count them. There were also at least 2-3 "babies" so they seem to still be reproducing pretty steady.
  • big_tbig_t Posts: 588 Officer
    "Nature needs to be left alone."

    wish the almighty dollar didn't get in the way of that.

    ive seen the monkeys and wondered about them as well.
  • Native FloridianNative Floridian Posts: 702 Officer
    Used to run boats up to the yard, Derecktor Gunnell, and would see them all the time. First time probably at least 20 years ago. Driving to the yard early in the mornings you had to be careful because they would often be in the road. Pretty cool still.
  • I worked in that area from 1979 to 86 and the monkeys were everywhere, several kinds also
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