'Monkey lady' of Mount Middleton delights in plush primates

·2 min read
Diane Alcock has created a plush jungle in her front yard in Mount Middleton, near Sussex, with her collection of stuffed primates. (Aniekan Etuhube/CBC - image credit)
Diane Alcock has created a plush jungle in her front yard in Mount Middleton, near Sussex, with her collection of stuffed primates. (Aniekan Etuhube/CBC - image credit)

There's some monkey business going on at a home in Mount Middleton, a small community near Sussex.

Hundreds of stuffed primates — hanging from trees, sitting on lawn chairs, sporting hats and sunglasses — create a jungle-land spectacle in rural New Brunswick.

Aniekan Etuhube/CBC News
Aniekan Etuhube/CBC News

Diane Alcock is the person who created and overseas this plush zoo.

Known as the monkey lady, over the past 26 years Alcock has collected more than 500 monkeys, orangutans, baboons and chimpanzees, though not all are on display in her yard. Many are in her house and garage, as well.

WATCH / Monkey business: stuffed apes swinging on treetops

Alcock said she enjoys the reaction the primates provoke when people discover her colourful yard, especially among children.

"People just stop and take pictures and yell awesome! It's neat," she said. "It's great.

"And the kids love it. We've got quite a few kids on the road that come up and look at the monkeys."

Aniekan Etuhube/CBC News
Aniekan Etuhube/CBC News

Alcock bought her first monkey, named Ralph, at a yard sale while at a campground in Mill Cove.

When she positioned the primate in a tree on her site, she noticed people stopping to take photos.

"Kids brought me some, and every yard sale I went to I bought monkeys," she said. "The kids just said, 'We are going to the monkey lady.' That's how I got the [nickname]."

Aniekan Etuhube/CBC
Aniekan Etuhube/CBC

Hey, hey, we're the monkeys

She can't really explain why she loves this primate paradise so much.

Her real joy is seeing other people delight in the spectacle. She said it's what keeps her going.

Aniekan Etuhube/CBC News
Aniekan Etuhube/CBC News

"I didn't think it was going to grow as big as it did. It just happened. I like monkeys."

She continues to frequent yard sales and flea markets looking for more to add to her troop.

She and her husband Gordon are looking to fill every bare branch within sight.

"It's a feeling of enjoyment for us and satisfaction to see the kids appreciate something like that," Gordon said.

"If the kids appreciate it, we appreciate it."

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