FRUITLAND PARK, FLORIDA — A troupe of rhesus macaques making its way around near Orlando has been terrorizing residents in a variety of ways, and could soon become a serious health threat.
The macaques, natives to Asia who were supposedly brought to the region as an attraction back in the 1930s, have been spotted more frequently over the past few weeks. One resident said he stumbled across one hanging out on a private fishing dock, while another woman claims a monkey has been climbing her orange tree and knocking the fruits down. She also said one day she noticed some water dripping down from a tree, but when she looked up, she realized it was actually a monkey urinating.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has warned residents not to feed the monkeys, many of whom are believed to be carrying the herpes B virus. According to the CDC, 70 percent of those with the herpes B virus die from it, but no cases of humans in Florida contracting the virus from monkeys have yet been reported.
Several locals have reported being scratched and bitten by the macaques, and officials say if this happens, victims should wash the wound, seek medical attention, and report the animal sighting immediately.