Wild monkeys attack Florida family

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(Susie Ramsey via WFTS)

OCALA, Fla —  A visit to a state park in Florida turned scary for a family when they were attacked by a group of wild monkeys, CNN affiliate WFTS reports.

Susie Ramsey and her family were visiting Silver Springs State Park in Ocala on June 29 when they came across a group of wild rhesus monkeys.

For more than 75 years, rhesus macaques have inhabited that park and their population has grown to about 200 monkeys.

University of Florida biologists said new sightings of the monkeys have been reported in Lady Lake and The Villages, more than 20 miles south of the park. Biologists fear that as the population grows, males could disperse farther outside of the Ocala area.

Ramsey and her family came across the troop of monkeys at the Sea Hunt exhibit.

In a video posted to YouTube, at first the monkeys were sitting around. But within a few minutes, the monkeys became angry. They growled, hissed and started chasing people. No one was hurt.

Ramsey said her son thought the ordeal was funny. But attacks by monkey attacks can be serious.

The animals have sharp fangs and are extremely strong for their size. They can seriously injure people.

If you spot a monkey in the wild you should never look directly into their eyes or smile with your teeth showing, as the animals consider such actions a sign of aggression. Simply back away from them without showing fear and open your palms to indicate to them you are not holding food.

Ramsey said the monkeys chased after her family even through they did not “look them in the eyes” or do anything aggressive toward the animals. She said there should be a sign warning people wild monkeys live in the area.

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