As authorities search for the wayward monkey, residents are being warned not to feed or pet it
A wild monkey has been roaming around a city in Florida for about a week as wildlife officials urge people to “keep a safe distance.”
Police posted a photo of the monkey, identified as a rhesus macaque, on social media Wednesday after they received multiple calls about sightings in Orange City, Florida, the Orange City Police Department said in a statement on Facebook.
“The sightings began like a week ago but we haven’t been able to actually locate it,” Orange City police Lt. Sherif El-Shami told the Daytona Beach News-Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network.
Police said multiple people have called the department after seeing the monkey around the city but every time they drive to the area, the monkey is gone.
“Every time we get a new sighting, it’s somewhere different,” El-Shami said.
El-Shami said police don’t know where the monkey came from, and there have been no reports of someone missing a monkey.
‘Don’t pet it’
Wild animals can carry diseases that can spread to humans, including rabies and hepatitis B, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said in a statement to USA TODAY.
Officials said people should “keep a safe distance” and “never feed wild monkeys.”
Feeding wild monkeys is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida that can carry up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine if convicted, the wildlife commission said.
“The biggest message we’d like residents to heed is that it could be very dangerous,” El-Shami added. “Don’t feed it. Don’t pet it. It’s not your average animal at the zoo.”
This article originally appeared on USA Today: Wild monkey seen roaming around Florida all week: Keep ‘safe distance,’ officials sayLeave a reply