A flap about a small park attraction in Cedar Rapids has sparked an online petition and a number of rumors. A small zoo at the city’s Bever Park began over a hundred years ago but now plans to get rid of its monkeys. Zoo Director Julie Myers explains their area needs updating and costs the city too much, especially when the zoo itself is closed.The director says there are 19 primates that will be gone before long though they don’t know how long it will take. Rumors spread that the zoo would wait for the monkeys to die before closing their part of the zoo, and this week a local animal-rights activist called on keepers to put the animals to sleep rather than send them to other zoos or animal sanctuaries. Myers says she totally disagrees with that — after 21 years on the job, she knows this isn’t the only zoo that can give the primates good homes and there are good ones out there they’re in the process of finding. When the time comes, Myers says the monkeys will be shipped to other facilities that agree to take them. They have carriers, but “catchin’ them’s the fun part.” Myers can’t say whether there will be monkeys left in the exhibit when the zoo opens in April for its season, but says the Old McDonald petting zoo and waterfowl exhibits will remain.
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