Wild primates in Florida park: Monkey shenanigans on rise

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – There’s an upswing in monkey business in and around a state park in Florida, where bands of non-native rhesus macaques live along a river that’s popular with kayakers and tourists.

Officials have closed two walking areas at Silver Springs State Park because of unwanted monkey interactions with park guests.

An observation deck and a boardwalk are off-limits because the primates have essentially taken over.

Matt Mitchell, the assistant director of Florida State Parks, said rangers check areas each morning for monkey activity.

Researchers estimate anywhere from 150 to 200 wild rhesus macaques live at the park and an unknown number live outside.

Park rangers try to warn visitors not to feed the 20-pound, 2-foot tall mammals and are stepping up patrols in sections where there are high possibilities of monkey-human interaction.

In this July 3, 2017 photo provided by Brian Pritchard, a band of non-native rhesus macaques are seen on Pritchard’s property in Ocala, Fla. Officials have closed two walking areas at nearby Silver Springs State Park because of unwanted monkey interactions with park guests. An observation deck and a boardwalk are off-limits because the primates have essentially taken over. (Brian Pritchard via AP)

STORIES OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:

BACK TO TOP STORIES

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s