Ralph Mitchell Zoo and Riverside Park
onkey Island was built in 1932. Forty rhesus monkeys inhabited the castle and small city complete with jail, storefront sign, and light post. Spider monkeys replaced rhesus monkeys in 1959 and the capuchin monkeys replaced the spider monkeys in 1982. Trees and other plants were added in 1988 and wild flowers were allowed to grow to give the island a more natural "jungle" environment.
Miss Able - One of the first Monkeys to be sent into space!
Miss Able was shot 300 miles into space on the nose of a Jupiter rocket at a speed of 10,000 miles an hour. She was one of the first living subjects the U.S. sent into space. Miss Able made her home at the Ralph Mitchell Zoo at Riverside Park.
She was trained in the U.S. Space Program and preformed as she should during the flight. The day after her capsule was retrieved from the ocean by a Navy ship, Miss Able died. She died during an operation to remove an instrument that had been inserted under her skin. Her heart failed during the operation.