Kauai has plenty of chickens and feral cats.
What it doesn’t have are lovable monkeys swinging merrily in trees.
But under a new plan, it will — soon.
Welcome to Monkey Mania.
“We’re going to be importing hundreds of monkeys and setting them free,” said Mickey Monkeybutt, with the National Association of Monkeys being Relocated to a Better Place. “Everyone loves monkeys, particularly monkeys roaming free on a tropical island.”
The proposal, kept under tight wraps so no one would know about it, calls for releasing 301 monkeys this spring, on a day that won’t be announced and at a location that is secret. The monkeys will just start showing up — hanging from branches, along roadsides, on lanais, in yards, in cars and houses and resorts, and pretty much everywhere, so that’s when people will know they’re here.
The idea, of course, said Monkeybutt, is not to just provide monkeys with freedom and a new lifestyle, but to boost Kauai’s economy.
One federal study estimated that a thriving population of cute, cuddly monkeys wreaking havoc in public will attract another 1.1 million visitors to Kauai each year. And those visitors, as we all know, rent cars.
“People are crazy about monkeys,” the study found.
“It’s surprising Kauai doesn’t already have monkeys,” the study concluded.
While monkeys may be messy, and there is a chance they might bite someone or run off with valuables left outside on tables, or just scare people, their economic impact can’t be dismissed, said Cindy Chimp of the Foundation of Exotic Animals for Financial Benefit of Islands.
“It’s not a coincidence the words money and monkey are so close,” Chimp chirped. “We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again and again. Monkeys are gold when it comes to attracting people with money to spend.”
If the initial colony of monkeys multiplies as expected, more will be brought in to make sure the population grows out of control. Perhaps thousands, next time, will be quietly turned loose around Waialeale and Kokee.
Priscilla Primate, founder of the Free Primates Now Club, is pleased to see Kauai welcome monkeys with open arms. In fact, she suggests Kauai be renamed, “Monkey Island.”
“Only an island with the aloha spirit that Kauai possesses would so willingly embrace a clan of easily agitated, unpredictable primates,” Primate said. “Monkeys aren’t always funny, friendly rascals, you know. But there couldn’t be a better place than Kauai for this grand experiment of mixing monkeys and people.”
There will be some new laws to accommodate the island’s new attraction.
Anyone caught harming a monkey, yelling at one, chasing it off their property or trying to wrestle back a banana, will be banished from the island forever. There will be no second chances.
“We can’t monkey around when it comes to safety,” said Sam Simian, who wrote the legislation.
And because monkeys will cross the highways, the new islandwide speed limit will be 30 miles per hour.
“Life is supposed to be slow and laid back on Kauai, anyway, so it shouldn’t really change anything,” Simian said. “This may actually help people relax.”
Finally, these monkeys are not free. Every visitor will be assessed a $50 “Monkey Money” surcharge that must be paid before they’re allowed off the plane or boat. And residents will see a new category on their property tax bill. It will be called, “Monkey Business.”