Monkey on loose spotted at Winter Springs home

Viewer sends photos of animal to Local 6

WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. - A monkey that was spotted in Oviedo last week has made its way into Winter Springs and was photographed atop a screened-in porch.

A viewer emailed the photographs to Local 6 News after spotting the monkey around 9 a.m. Monday at a home on Baltic Lane.

The photos show a tan monkey estimated to be about 4 feet long. Winter Springs police issued a community alert on Monday saying Florida Fish and Wildlife and Animal Control won't respond until the monkey is contained. The monkey was described as brown and white and was spotted in the Heritage Park community.

FWC said the monkey has been identified as a Rhesus Macaque. FWC also said they believe the monkey could have come from a colony of monkeys living in the Silver Springs area. The monkeys were living freely as part of an attraction years ago.

Two people saw the monkey roaming in Oviedo, a city neighboring Winter Springs, on Sunday and called 911. One caller said the monkey was in the area of Oviedo Feed at 159 N. Central Ave. The other person saw the monkey near the Sunoco station at 590 Geneva Drive.

Shaun Kuntz was the third person to spot the monkey in 24 hours.

"It scurries up a tree, takes one look, and it goes, didn't act like it was scared or mean, just curious," said Kunz.

Officers went to both places and were unable to find the monkey. FWC officials said once the monkeys go back into the woods it's difficult to track them down again.

Oviedo police said they haven't received any reports of missing animals.

FWC spokeswoman Joy Hill said monkeys can carry diseases, one of which is fatal to humans. Hill urged residents not to go near monkeys, as they can be aggressive and will bite. 

Hill said wildlife officers will search for the monkey and identify it based on pictures.

Residents said they are concerned about the monkey being on the loose because of all the families with young children living in the area.

"It's a little concerning with all the children I see walking, riding bicycles, down the street," said resident Laurie Riendeau. "The elementary school students would be prone to want to touch a monkey, so it's a little nerve-wracking."

Kids Local 6's Erik von Ancken talked to agreed that they would love to play with a monkey.

"Maybe I want to dance with it, but I don't want to get killed," said 9-year-old Jonah Cockerham.

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