Models, Hyenas, Lemurs Oh My!

Usually the only exotic creatures one comes across on South Beach are leggy fashion models. But the American Riviera is an underground wild animal kingdom. This week, we brought you the story of Bryan Hawn, a dude who kept an African spotted hyena in his apartment for almost eleven months last year. On May 24, while canvassing polling stations on election day, New Times videographer Jacob Katel and I came across bicycle riding Dwon Simmons and his pet lemur Charlie. Yeah, we said WTF too.

Simmons says ring-tailed Charlie hails from Madagascar. He adopted the lemur from a friend who runs an animal refuge in Homestead. "He had a hernia when I got him," Simmons explains. "He is part of the pro-simian family."

Simmons has a permit from the Florida Wildlife & Game Commission that allows him to keep Charlie inside his apartment. "He has his own room," Simmons adds. "People are always stopping me on the street to meet Charlie."


Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.