A Program of Marion County Schools

Rhesus Monkey Skull

Rhesus monkey skull, Silver River. In 1938 Colonel Tooey, who ran the jungle cruise boats at Silver Springs, released a group of rhesus macaque monkeys onto an island to liven things up for his customers. Tooey didn’t realize that the macaques could swim and since then, monkeys have lived along the Silver River. The population grew and moved around, which quickly caused problems. On November 11, 1939, the Ocala Banner reported that a Silver Springs male monkey named “Sourpuss” had been shot by Mr. Andy Adkins near Anthony, just northwest of the springs. Monkeys were an oddity in Florida and Sourpuss’s body was taken to an Ocala funeral parlor. He was embalmed and put on display for some days prior to being given a funeral. While the gravesite of Sourpuss has been lost to history, his relatives still live along the banks of the Silver River (SRM1991-12-11).

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