By: StormJunkie , 1:33 AM GMT on June 28, 2010
Wild Monkey's in South Carolina??? Yep! See the pics below.
Morgan Island, SC, aka Monkey Island, is located on the edge of the St Helana Sound in the heart of the ACE basin. This 400 acre island in the Lowcountry is home to almost 4000 monkeys. You heard that right; monkeys! The monkeys were transported to Morgan Island in the beginning in the summer of 1979 from the rhesus breeding colony of La Parguera, Puerto Rico facility of the Caribbean Primate Research Center. Initially 1400 animals were relocated. There are roughly 750 babies born every year on Morgan Island which is why Morgan Island is now home to 4000 monkeys. Morgan Island is now owned by SCDNR (I think...details are hard to come by), but most of the monkeys belong to the FDA or the NIH (National Institute of Health). Again, I think this is the case, but they may actually be owned by Alpha Genesis Inc. The monkeys are used for testing vaccines of various types, including bio-terrorism vaccines.
There are various types of Monkey's on Morgan Island and they run in about 20 packs, or troops, which range in size from 25 to 200 animals. Some of the monkeys on Morgan Island include African Green, Rhesus macaque, Owl, Capuchin, Squirrel, Cynomolgus macaque, and Common marmoset. The animals are fed daily and get there water from what I envision as giant gerbil water bottles. Females comprise about 75% of the total population and average 70% live birth rates. There are roughly 750 babies born every year on Morgan Island which is why Morgan Island is now home to 4000 monkeys.
My trip out there started out as many do, not a monkey in site. For one it is extremely hot and they become less active in the heat. After tooling around the creek for a little while a monkey ran by and swatted a low palm tree. I jerked around and there he was. This was one of only two monkey's that I saw, but I could hear the screeches of many more. One of the more interesting events were the screams and yells that seemed to be coming from underground. It sounded like fighting or violent sex. They were sounds fit for a horror movie. The sounds were coming from the edges of the bank that can be seen in the pictures. Until then, I did not realize that apparently monkeys burrow, but with the way the banks were "talking" to us it became quite obvious they do. Guess it's a good way to stay out of this nasty heat we've been having.
So after lot's of digging, that's all the information I have come up with for now. If I find more information in the next few days I will post it. Enjoy the pics and maybe next time I go out there I will get to see the beaches line with 100's of Monkey's.
Now, if I could just get a picture of the Tybee Bomb ;)
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