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Wild monkey spotted roaming Florida neighborhood: ‘Absolutely crazy’

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Recent wild monkey sightings in central Florida neighborhoods have caused concern among residents.

In Groveland and Clermont last week, people reported and captured video of monkeys on residential streets and rooftops to police.

“I was picking up my daughter at school, and then I saw [what] I thought was a cat. When I got closer, I saw it was a monkey,” resident Maxel Miranda said.

A primate expert identified the monkeys as rhesus macaques, noting the species may have migrated from the nearby Wekiva River area, where a group was introduced in the 1930s.

While macaques typically avoid humans and stay in troops, residents were surprised by the encounters.

“This monkey went across the road, and I had to do a double take because I didn’t think that I was actually a monkey,” resident Aime Krug said.

One homeowner said they were now cautious outside after seeing a monkey.

“We can’t believe it! We have raccoons, and we have squirrels and stuff in our attic from time to time, but we’ve never seen a monkey, so that’s absolutely crazy,” homeowner Simon Weafer said. “We will definitely be a bit cautious when we go out into the yard now.”

The expert recommends anyone spotting a macaque report it to wildlife authorities.

The rare monkey sightings underscore the potential for wild primates to occasionally venture into populated areas from nearby habitats.

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