Monkey Jungle – Miami, Florida
Monkey Jungle is home to nearly 400 primates, most running free on a 30-acre reserve. It is one of the few protected habitats for endangered primates in the United States and the only one that the general public can explore.
When Joseph DuMond, an inquisitive animal behaviorist, released six monkeys into the wilds of a dense South Florida hammock in 1933, he didn’t realize his endeavors would help shape the attitudes of many in the primatological and zoological fields. The release over seventy five years ago of that small Java troop signified the beginning of the larger thriving troop that runs free at MONKEY JUNGLE today.
There are dozens of species of primates in Monkey Jungle: orangutans, gibbons, howlers, spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys. You can watch guided, educational shows in the “Amazonian Rain Forest” or the “Cameroon Forest,” (that’s where King lives), but these lack some appeal, at least to us, without chimps in space suits. The Wild Monkey Swimming Pool is a good place to just hang out, sit in the shade, and watch the monkeys splash and attack each other.
Java Monkey Troop
The Java monkey troop now numbers 130, and they are everywhere. You can have a good time just wandering around watching monkeys scamper overhead, waiting for food. For 25 cents you get a handful of seeds out of a gumball machine, drop some into a little nickel-plated bowl on a tiny chain, and a monkey will instantly haul it up for a snack. We recommend wearing a hat to protect yourself from monkey evacuations and discarded bowls.
Located just off U.S. 1 in South Dade, MONKEY JUNGLE was an innovator of many of the concepts currently seen in the design of zoological parks. It is home to nearly400 primates, most running free on a 30 acre reserve. It is one of the few protected habitats for endangered primates in the United States and the only one that the general public can explore.
Visitors today are immediately welcome by the Java monkey troop, now numbering in the 80’s. The Java monkeys forage through the Jungle eating natural foods. This experience with the monkeys continues to be a highlight of Monkey Jungle. The Java monkey is a skilled diver in the wild, collecting crabs and other shellfish along the riverbanks and mangrove swamps. Scheduled feedings at MONKEY JUNGLE show off these water skills as animals dive into a pool to receive fruit from the guides.
As part of the park’s continuing effort to promote the understanding of primates, MONKEY JUNGLE has given a new look introducing audiences to the lifestyle of the orangutan. Always unpredictable, the audience often witnesses impromptu acts by these lovable apes.
A total of 30 species of primates are represented at MONKEY JUNGLE including gibbons, guenons and spider monkeys. The Golden Lion Tamarin is native to the Brazilian jungle. Threatened with extinction, MONKEY JUNGLE proudly participates in an international effort to save the tiny creature.
Monkey Jungle is open every day of the year from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm. The ticket offices closes at 4:00 pm.
How to get there:
Monkey Jungle is located at 14805 SW 216th St. Miami, FL
If you are driving from Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale or West Dade, follow the Florida Turnpike South to exit 11 labeled Cutler Ridge Boulevard and Southwest 216 Street. After exiting, got to the bottom of the exit ramp, continue straight thru the intersection to Southwest 216 St. Make a right turn onto SW 216 St and go 4 miles. Monkey Jungle will be on your right hand side.
If you are driving from Miami Beach, follow 836 West to the Florida Turnpike South. Take exit 11 labelled Cutler Ridge Boulevard and Southwest 216 Street. After exiting, go to the bottom of the exit ramp, continue straight thru the intersection to Southwest 216 Street. Make a right turn onto Southwest 216 Street and go 4 miles. Monkey Jungle will be on your right hand side.
From North Dade County, follow 826 South, also known as the Palmetto Expressway, to 874 to the Florida Turnpike. Take exit 11 labeled Cutler Ridge Boulevard and Southwest 216 Street. After exiting, go to the second intersection, turn right, follow Southwest 216 Street 4 miles West. Monkey Jungle will be on your right hand side.