Animal affairs

Black-market monkey operation closed in Miami

 

cmorgan@miamiherald.com

Florida wildlife investigators have shut down a black-market monkey emporium run out of a townhouse in West Miami-Dade.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Wednesday that it had closed the unlicensed operation after a two-month investigation. Twenty-eight monkeys, along with a fox and a kinkajou, were seized and relocated to licensed facilities, said FWC spokesman Jorge Pino.

“This business has been operating for seven years,” said Capt. David Dipre, area investigations supervisor for the FWC in a release. “We have been looking into it and were, fortunately, able to shut it down.”

Pino said that the owner of the business, Jorge A. Garcia, 55, faced at least six misdemeanor charges and possibly more. The charges include possession of wildlife without a permit, sale of wildlife without a permit, sale or transfer of wildlife to an unlicensed person, caging violations and records-keeping violations.

Anyone who owns, sells or shows monkeys in Florida is supposed to be properly licensed. The regulations are intended to protect both the animals and humans.

The operation was run out of a town home at 12687 NW 10th Lane.

The FWC asked for residents to report any similar operations to the Wildlife Alert Hotline by calling 888-404-3922 or texting Tip@MyFWC.com.

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