Monkey sanctuary cleans up after Irma

Published: Sep. 14, 2017 at 1:41 PM EDT
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Not only were humans affected by Hurricane Irma. Monkeys at Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary in Gainesville had to be taken inside and are finally being released back into their habitats.

"It's hard keeping track of these monkeys and where they're coming and going from," said Kari Bagnall, founder and executive director at the sanctuary.

Clinging to their cages, it seems like the little guys can't wait to get back to normal. Bagnall and her crew have been working non-stop to do it.

"She's so happy to be out here," Bagnall said, as Dawn the monkey howls in her cage before being released. "It was really scary because it was coming at night the worst of it so of course I was up all night"

Hurricane Irma forced more than 300 monkeys into any available space indoors.

"We were catching and feeding and checking on and comforting trying to convince them that it was going to be okay," said Sara Smith, Bagnall's assistant.

Now that it's over, broken cages, sinkholes, and downed trees are only prolonging the process.

"It's taking a lot longer to release them," said Bagnall. "We wanted to get the monkeys out quickly but we had to check the integrity of every habitat before we put any monkeys back."

Bagnall expects it to take at least another day to move them all and assess the damage. Aside from being a little spooked, the monkeys survived the storm.

"This is much better, it is it's much better," Bagnall coos to one of the monkeys through it's habitat.

Now it's up to sanctuary workers and volunteers to keep the monkeys from going bananas.