March 30 (UPI) — A monkey spotted earlier this month in a south Florida neighborhood resurfaced and put in an extended appearance as police blocked off an area.
North Miami Beach police responded to the neighborhood on Thursday after several reports of monkey sightings and cordoned off an area as the small primate sat in a tree.
Resident Zachary Groffman said he initially didn’t realize the animal he was looking at was the vervet money.
“I thought I saw a dog running down the street. Then he started jumping on the fence over here,” Groffman told WSVN-TV. “It’s crazy.”
“I thought I was seeing things,” he said. “I mean, honestly, I had to run down here to make sure it was real. It was real.”
The monkey was previously spotted earlier in the month near the King of Diamonds strip club.
Vervet monkeys have lived in South Florida since the 1940s, when several of the primates escaped from from a chimpanzee farm in the Dania Beach area, but they are rarely seen wandering as far as North Miami Beach.
“When they reach sexual mutuality at the age of five, they leave their social group and they go to look for other monkey groups to join,” Missy Williams, the director of the Dania Beach Vervet Project, told WTVJ-TV.
Authorities said they are considering measures to capture the monkey and return it to the colony at West Lake Park in Dania Beach, but Williams said vervet monkeys are experts at urban mapping and the wandering primate might return home on his own.