Out There: Silver River Monkeys

By Grant Rice,
Last Updated: Monday, July 10, 2017, 11:43 AM EDT

All of this monkey business started with some folks in Ocala talking about a few Hollywood movie types coming to the Silver River to shoot for a film called Tarzan Finds a Son! 

The buzz prompted a tour boat operator by the name of Colonel Tooey to come to the conclusion that monkeys would make a great selling point for the jungle boat tours he conducted on the Silver River. Tooey put his plan into action after ordering a few rhesus macaques from a wildlife distributor in New York.

He hired men to help him dig and dredge at a bend in the river known as the Devil's Elbow in order to construct an island meant to house the monkeys. The monkeys that were soon delivered and taken to the island where a small wooden structure had been built to shelter the primates.

Tooey was likely just leaving the island when he heard the first splash, these monkeys can swim! The island was quickly deserted and Colonel Tooey has since passed but his legacy still remains today. Those monkeys, now several generations removed, have flourished spreading far and wide throughout the cypress swamp corridor.

Tooey's monkeys are still an attraction for visitors to this day. People can enjoy a lazy afternoon kayaking the river or for a more unique experience they can contact Captain Tom O'Lenick for a guided tour. Tom is extremely knowledgeable regarding the rich history of the river and he always has a beat on where the best spot to see the monkeys. He even feeds and catches panfish by hand as part of his tour. Give Tom a call to book your trip today, you will not regret it.

Captain Tom's Custom Charters

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