I would like to address your article “Starting a Monkey Business.” This article discussed a proposed zoo for monkeys and other animals to be located at the residence of Dean Riopelle on Hopewell Road in Milton.
The article mentioned two of Mr. Riopelle’s neighbors who approve of his zoo. I am writing on behalf of many of his other neighbors who do not. We object to the 100 monkeys he now has in six cages and we cannot imagine what it would be like if he is allowed to add one more cage, much less 10, 20 or more that he is proposing for his zoo.
There is no barrier, short of a huge dome, that would be able to contain the noise. The decibel level of the screeching is extremely high and it is not due to three monkeys, it is due to a hundred of them all screeching at the same time.
Furthermore, we are concerned about the kids being attacked and bitten; about diseases that monkeys carry; about the closeness of the animals to us; about their escaping.
There is also a problem with the animals’ droppings, which are left to decay. The location of the monkey cages and roaming area is very near Chicken Creek and is in the flood zone below Starnes Lake. This is a protected area and high levels of water during heavy rains could then cause contamination of the creek and water tables. Some residents of the area are on well water.
Horse farms in Milton are allowed one horse per acre. If Dean were raising horses, which we celebrate in our town, he would be limited to 20. These monkeys should be rare pets, and not raised in our town by the tens or hundreds.
For all of these reasons, many of our neighbors have been concerned about these animals, and adding to this situation would continue to devalue our properties. A zoo like this belongs in an isolated area, not in our backyard in Milton.