Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Squirrel Monkey Spotted In Florida's Pelican Bay

loose monkeyBe on the lookout for the monkey in Pelican Bay.

He may be furry, fluffy and friendly, but he also may be harboring diseases that could cause serious illness or death to humans.

DeeDee Ream may have been the first to spot him. It was Saturday, dinner was being prepared and Ream heard a strange noise coming from the backyard. She went to investigate, noticed a cardinal, then scanned the treeline.

“It’s a monkey,” Ream yelled to her friends gathered in the home.

The squirrel monkey, a non-native species with a history in Naples, was clinging to a palm tree.

For years, several of the monkeys — possibly a troop — have been spotted in and around the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, including at Naples High School and the Collier Athletic Club.

“Typically they do occupy a certain territory,” said Troy Frensley, Conservancy education director.

“It makes me suspect that potentially it was a pet,” Frensley said of the monkey Ream saw. “No one knows how the ones we’ve seen around the Conservancy arrived.”

Full story here.

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