The face of an unwanted, cast aside, wild animal, the Rhesus Macaque.
This image: Bob Gottschalk, a local who loves them
I first heard about this story over the weekend, but did not have the time to write.
By today, I could wait no more and needed to share this story with all of you.
It seems that in Florida, you can do practically anything to an unwanted, wild animal for a small fee, perhaps this also applies in other states?
Since 1998, a man, or more precisely, a trapper named Scott Cheslak, has traveled down here from South Carolina, to the beautiful Silver Springs area, to capture and transport wild monkeys, to date the number that he claims to have taken is over 700. ( this number has just been disputed as being too high )
***The following was just received as an update, or clarification, of some of the inaccurate information that many stories on the Internet are reporting about the situation with the monkeys at Silver Springs.
The number of captured monkeys amounting to 700, ( reportedly is coming from the trapper and is being written about widely in stories every where ) is said to be inaccurate and may be being used to cause public negative reaction or even to cause a mini panic about the monkeys.
If the general public believes that there has been a population explosion, there would be even more need for his services?
An interesting thought was brought up: if there is/was such a numbers problem with the monkey population, why was there no need to catch or capture them prior to 1998?
Mr G. is presently trying to initiate a ban or hiatus with the state of Florida, to stop all trapping for 5 years, so that the monkeys can be studied more accurately about their reproductive cycles.
Some Questions that need to be answered are: How fast are the monkeys reproducing and is their population stable?
He believes that the present population count of the monkeys is at about 120, it was about 80 when he started counting them between 2007 – 2008.
He believes that 100 is the median number, that can be supported by the areas ecosystem.
He is also working on trying to change the name ” invasive species” from them, to “non native species, ” because he believes that they don’t remove anything from the ecosystem, the food that they eat, no other animals in the area want.
There will soon be an update to his story above, with all of his new data. A link to it It will be posted here, when it is completed.
We are truly indebted to him for the vast amount of work that he has done on their behalf*****
Now, back to the story….
It is what this trapper does/did with the monkeys, that we who love wildlife, object to with such absolute horror.
The extremely sad details of his actions, are in the stories below, if you wish to know them.
My primary reason for wanting to bring this quite quickly to the attention of those of you who live outside our area is this: Why is this legal anywhere?
I am sure that this monster/person will now go elsewhere and find another species of innocent animal to procure for the very same evil purpose.
The hunting, trapping, transporting, selling of any wild animal to be used in such a vile manner is despicable, yet people like this man always seem to find a species and a place to do this.
Why do the rest of us allow this to go on?
We know it is cruel and inhumane, don’t we?
Who speaks for these creatures who are suffering?
I would like to believe that it is because this crime was not known to the general public, or at least not publicized widely.
Have Humans at some point in our species evolution/history, lost our moral compass, our spark of righteous indignation, when it comes to the welfare, or well-being of those that we share this planet with?
If like me, you are sickened by this man’s cruel actions, if what he chooses to do for a living, appalls you, please let those who can chastise and punish him appropriately, be made fully aware of your total disgust.
No, these are not our precious personal pets, they are not the pampered, spoiled dogs, cats or other, that we share our lives with, these are unwanted, abandoned, wild animals, that did not choose to be where they are today, they were supposedly originally a part of a “Jungle Cruise” business here in Florida long ago, that were given no respect then and are given even less today.
Now they are abandoned, unwanted wild animals with few defenders.
What right does anyone have to inflict a lifetime of pain and misery on them?
For more about this subject, please see this post: What Right?
Now is your chance, speak up, let your voices be heard.
A petition for the Silver Springs, Florida Rhesus Macaques or monkeys is here: Stop Trapping Silver River Monkeys
Here are some of the details of their story: