What is Monkey Jungle? According to the website, it’s where nearly 400 primates run free on a 30 acre preserve. According to me, it’s enough reason to pack a back and head down to Florida for a visit.
Like the sign says, it’s a place where the humans are caged and the monkeys run wild. And run wild they do. Keep in mind that they don’t live in an aviary; there’s no top to their portion of the park. If any of the residents is displeased, he can beat it out of there whenever he likes.
So what keeps the squadrons of monkey satiated enough to stay put and not run amok in Miami? Raisins. Lots and lots of raisins. As Mai demonstrates in the above sequence, here is how a macaque trains a human. First, there are metal cups throughout the park. The visitor just needs to drop a few raisins inside. The grateful monkey pulls the cup up, eats, and then drops the cup back down for the human to repeat the process. You didn’t bring raisins with you? That’s okay. They’re for sale in the gift shop.
In addition, there are four shows that run continuously through the day. One of the highlights is the feeding of the Java macaques, also known as crab-eating macaques. These guys will gladly swim across the water for a hard boiled egg.
Monkey Jungle is also home to a couple great apes, both of which despite looking happy and well adjusted have sad stories. First, there is the orangutan. She is a hybrid, which means that when it comes to breeding, she is pretty far down the list. Basically, scientists want to keep bloodlines “pure”.
And then there’s King. Unlike an orangutan, a gorilla is a more social animal and in the wild can be found in family units. King was rescued from a circus. The shit heads at the circus saw fit to pull all of his front teeth, top and bottom. This puts him in a vulnerable position and as a result can’t be part of a troop.