Monkey Jungle: Not Your Average Zoo

By AlyseInWonderland, USA, May 2011

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Everyone loves zoos. But children and adults alike can have a totally unique experience at Monkey Jungle! Located in southern Miami-Dade county (about a half hour drive from downtown Miami), this attraction is unlike most other zoos. The animals roam completely free in their terrain.

Noted primatologist Joseph DuMond originally conceived the idea in 1933, when he released six monkeys imported from Southeast Asia in a ten-acre plot in order to observe their behavior. The troop thrived and now the numbers are in the 80’s!

Since then, Monkey Jungle has grown to encapsulate 30 acres and is home to more than 400 different primates and 30 different species. It has played host to many influential studies by primatologists, and it is one of only a few primate preserves in the United States.

Visitors are directed through a series of caged pathways that wind through the primate preserve, and from there, they can observe animals behaving much like they would in their natural habitat, free of human encroachment.

The park is split into three major areas: the wild monkey swimming pool, the Orangutan habitat, and the rainforest. The rainforest is particularly unique in that it is the only semi-natural tropical rainforest in North America. One of the highlights of the preserve is the feeding area, in which guests are invited to leave peanuts and other treats for the monkeys to enjoy. 

Monkey Jungle strives to encourage conservation through education, and hopefully visitors young and old will leave with a renewed awareness of the importance of preserving the Earth’s biodiversity. Monkey Jungle is open daily from 9:30am to 5pm.

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