Wild monkey sightings in Florida prompts warnings from officials

230824 resus monkey mb 1306 8cac8c

Officials in Florida are warning residents to keep their distance from wild monkeys that have been spotted around the city.

Residents of Orange City, about 30 miles north of Orlando, have reported multiple sightings of wild monkeys within the city, the Orange City Police Department said in a Facebook post Wednesday.

The department said at least one of those monkeys spotted Wednesday at a local Popeye’s — was later identified as a Rhesus macaque monkey, a species that is native to Asia and can become aggressive when fed, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The police department received two additional reports of wild monkey sightings on Tuesday, according to Lieutenant Sherif El-Shami, who said that officials are unsure whether all sightings involved the same species or monkey. Animal control officers and police dispatched to the locations of the calls have not been able to locate the animals, El-Shami added.