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Florida woman spots invasive monkey eating oranges in backyard

Posted at 7:35 AM, Feb 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 07:36:13-05

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — (WTLV/NBC) - A woman in northeast Florida was stunned to find a monkey in her backyard eating oranges off her tree.

Colleen Sokol, who has lived in St. Johns Golf and Country Club for nearly 16 years, said she looked out the window of her Jacksonville home and saw the large monkey on Sunday.

She called state regulators at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who advised them to hire a trapper if they wanted the monkey removed.

Monkeys have long been part of Central Florida state parks, but they are not native to the state, and this is the first time they've been reported in northeast Florida.

Anyone who sees a monkey is advised to avoid contact since they can carry diseases including the herpes B virus.

It is against the law in Florida to feed monkeys, so residents are advised to remove any outdoor food sources.

Courtesy WTVL via NBC News Channel