HENDRY COUNTY — The Talkin’ Monkeys Project outside of Clewiston houses African and Asian wild primates in its small research zoo-like setting amid a bamboo forest, in isolated oasis from Southwest Florida’s growing suburbia.
As such, they’re already somewhat quarantined from the rest of the world out there, but it’s been hard for the director to get her usual volunteer contingents to help out with all the duties of keeping wild primates healthy and safe during 2020.
Dr. Deborah Misotti reported on her “Talkin’ Monkeys Project” Facebook page on Thursday, Oct. 29:
“Today we had our first group of volunteers in over eight months ... the FGCU (Florida Gulf Coast University) Wildlife Club. They were enthusiastic and very helpful. We got so many things done that I have not been able to do over this lengthy period.
“They moved two sheds, (dismantling one), hauled trash to the curb, bagging more trash; stocked bleach and cleanser; baked banana primate chow oatmeal cookies with craisins; made treat tubes and cheese herbal roll-ups; cleaned and scrubbed algae and mold from fences, signs and habitats; picked deadly rosary pea vines and berries to keep our primates safe; and so much more!”
Obviously, it was a welcome visit. Misotti depends on student wildlife workers who volunteer from science clubs and the like at local colleges and universities. Misotti was thankful also for the company as the TMP has not hosted many visitors this year.
She went on: “They even donated a huge amount of produce for the primates! We are very grateful for their efforts on behalf of our primates!”