Weather closings and delays

Stay away from monkeys: Wildlife officials issue warning after reported sighting in Central Florida

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

State wildlife officials are warning Central Floridians to keep away from monkeys after a reported sighting of a rhesus monkey near Apopka over the weekend, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

“People should NOT APPROACH OR FEED monkeys,” Florida Fish & Wildlife spokeswoman Susan Smith wrote in an email. “Avoid contact and observe only from a safe distance.”

People who see a monkey should call the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s 24-hour Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 or the agency’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888-483-4681.

Rhesus monkeys are sometimes spotted in Central Florida and are possibly related to a troop of monkeys brought to Silver Springs State Park in the 1930s.

 

University of Florida biologists estimated as many as 200 rhesus monkeys live in the region.

In November 2015, a monkey appeared on the roof of an elementary school in Lady Lake. In 2011, a monkey was photographed in Orange County on the Wekiva River.