NORTH MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – A monkey on the loose in Miami-Dade County has some residents going bananas.
He’s been on the move, but for the past two days the monkey has been hanging out in the same tree.
The male Vervet monkey has been spotted around North Miami Beach for the past 10 days, and he’s beginning to draw crowds.
Andrea Mesa stopped by with her kids. It’s part of their spring break adventure.
“My son said, ‘oh, let’s go to the zoo!’ I said ‘actually lets go down the block today,’” said Mesa.
Ava Carpenter got a close up look.
She’s was pretty excited when the monkey moved closer.
“It’s kind of cool that we get to experience having a wild animal, that just so happens to be a monkey in our neighborhood,” Carpenter said.
The primate was first spotted west of I-95, then began moving east.
“He ran, basically out of someone’s back yard, like jumped their fence, ran down the alleyway,” said Zac Groffman, who lives nearby. “When I saw him I thought he was a dog. Then he jumped up on the green trailer thing. That’s not a dog!”
The monkey likely came from 12 miles north of the neighborhood, from Dania Beach where there’s more than three dozen Vervet monkeys.
Missy Williams is with Florida Atlantic University and the Dania Beach Vervet Project. She’s hoping he may be ready to head back home.
“This is completely normal to them,” Williams explained. “This is what male Vervets do. If he was in Africa of the Caribbean, he certainly would find another family to join. But here, he doesn’t know that there are no other monkey’s outside of Dania.”
What ever he’s going to do, it looks like he’s preparing to make another move.
“You can see him he’s scanning the area, he’s looking left and right,” she said. “He’s changing direction. To me that lets me know that he thinking about absolutely moving to a new location.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is also monitoring the situation.
State wildlife officials will not allow the monkey to be captured, but Williams says because they have such a keen sense of direction, he should be able to make it back to Dania Beach with out a problem if life on his own does not work out.