Stop Trapping and Selling Wild Rhesus Monkeys in Florida

Target: Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Goal: Prohibit the trapping of wild rhesus monkeys for use in laboratories in North Central Florida’s Silver River area

For over a decade, wild rhesus monkeys living along North Central Florida’s Silver River have been torn away from their families and sold to local laboratories for use as test subjects. One particular trapper–Scott Cheslak of South Carolina–singlehandedly removed 800 monkeys from their local habitat since 1998. While Cheslak has been prohibited from further trapping due to his lack of a permit, trapping these monkeys is allowed–and even encouraged–by the state of Florida for those who do obtain the proper paperwork. Urge the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to seek alternate methods of population control for these intelligent and beautiful animals.

First introduced to Florida in the 1930s, wild rhesus monkeys have since flourished along the Silver River banks. Like many nonnative species, the monkeys enjoy a dearth of natural predators and competitors, allowing their numbers to grow rapidly. The state of Florida has since sought ways to curb monkey populations, but recent strategies have shown little regard for the welfare of these animals. Allowing independent trappers to haphazardly abduct monkeys and condemn them to a lifetime of suffering at the hands of scientists is no way to humanely control an invasive species.

Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection needs to implement responsible methods of population control for wild rhesus monkeys. Temporarily capturing and sterilizing young monkeys would thin their numbers while still allowing them to live out their lives at peace in the wild. Urge Florida to ban monkey trapping in favor of more humane population control.


Dear Department of Environmental Protection,

For decades, hundreds of wild rhesus monkeys have faced unthinkable fates at the hands of research scientists. These lab animals, abducted from the wild, live out their days in cramped metal cages, often subjected to inhumane treatment and torturous experiments.

I understand that controlling the populations of these creatures remains an issue in North Central Florida, but allowing residents to obtain permits to trap and sell monkeys is not the answer. Temporary capture and sterilization by trained wildlife experts could help to curb monkey populations without condemning individual animals to lifetimes of pain and suffering. There are alternate methods to trapping available, yet your department continues to allow third party residents to profit from the abduction of these intelligent and beautiful creatures.

I urge you to ban rhesus monkey trapping and seek humane methods of population control immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Sini Merikallio via Flickr.

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