How did monkeys from West Africa end up in Dania Beach, Florida? The Anthropoid Ape Research Foundation was opened in the 1940’s by Leila Roosevelt and Armand Dennis in Dania Beach north of the canal. An AARF employee, Bill Westley, traveled to Africa to collect animals for the facility. He sent back various animals to AARF, including the vervets or green monkeys. The monkeys escaped their enclosure in 1948 and have called the Dania Beach mangroves home since then. They are a treasured part of the Dania Beach community.