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

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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.


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