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gigantor

Swamp Apes - Or Escaped Monkeys?

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There is now doubt about "swamp apes" in Florida...

 

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Monkeys swarm Ocala man's property

 

florida-monkeys.jpg

 

OCALA, Fla. - An Ocala man said monkeys from Silver Springs State Park have invaded his property.

Brian Pritchard lives four miles away from the park, but over the last few days his game camera has taken hundreds of photos of about 50 rhesus macaques eating from a deer feeder in his backyard.

Silver Springs State Park recently shut down two areas because of an increased monkey presence. A family visiting the state park last week recorded a video of the monkeys aggressively chasing them and showing their teeth.

Pritchard had put out a feeder with a camera to catch photos of deer, but instead, he got monkeys.

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Posted (edited)

They've been there since around the 1930's. Florida has long been the winter home of traveling carnivals and someone abandoned a troop of these monkeys there. But a Skunk Ape is a far different thing than these rather small monkeys.

Edited by Rockape
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The males can grow rather large and a witness not expecting to see a monkey could mis-ID it, especially if it's just a glimpse in the brush...  just saying.

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Oh, yeah, they could cause some misidentifications. I think they are located in one rather small area though and not spread across the state.

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I am actually from north of that area. They have been there since Tarzan movies were filmed there in the 1930's

Not to be confused with the Skunk Apes which are more likely circus and sanctuary apes displaced by hurricanes and such.

The most likely cause of many Skunk Apes reports.  One thing we Floridians always joke about is most of the sightings are by visitors to our state and not by us. :D

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7 hours ago, Patterson-Gimlin said:

One thing we Floridians always joke about is most of the sightings are by visitors to our state and not by us. :D

Isn't that always the case? I chuckle when people talk about bigfoot in Ontario. Particularly the highly populated areas. Or even that video from PEI. Prince Edward Island is a small, relatively flat, island. There are not even bears on that island. There are those that support that PEI hoax video as proof positive of bigfoots on the island. 

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How do you know the film was a hoax? A film is not proof of anything of course.....

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I live in Tampa and I do believe that there some sightings that are escaped apes.  The Myakka ape pics look like an Orangutan to me and that isn't far from where Ringling brothers circus was based.  But I do believe there are BF in Florida!   I have not had a sighting yet but I have found prints where if you were walking barefoot you probably need to see a psychologist.  Not to say some people are not crazy.  And most of the sighting reports I'v read were not tourists.  I look at everything with a little skepticism.  As for the rhesus monkeys, they should probably trap them and put them in a zoo.  Florida has enough problems with non native species that get out of hand!   As for miss identifying a small monkey for BF I wouldn't think that would happen very often.

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One has to avoid misunderstandings. Apes and monkeys are different. A person could report seeing a monkey in Florida , and someone else might insist it was a skunk ape because monkeys aren't indigenous there. But I suppose there will always be a population there now. I could see these populations ruining things for the deer hunters.

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The presence of fairly large populations of monkeys in Florida will undoubtedly cast doubt on reports which highlight possible primate sounds but this was always the case, especially in this part of the world. Tracks and up close Class A sightings are however another matter.

 

We also have to bear in mind skunk/swamp apes being reported in neighbouring states where monkeys are perhaps less prevalent.

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One thing that gets me thinking is that we obviously have now, in North America, a primate species that can survive year round.  (More if you consider the potential for orangutans and chimps that may be living out there).  They were transplants, no doubt.  To me it begs the question - where the HECK are the native primate species of North America?  

 

In South America, there have been monkeys for thousands of years.  North America HAD a small primate millions of years ago.  Why is North America void of any native primate species?

 

Over the past tens of thousands, if not longer, years, various version of humans crossed thousands of miles following food and what-not to get here.  But no monkeys from the south?  

 

I find it hard to wrap my mind around that.  As there doesn't seem to be any reason why he had at one point another primate, but now don't.

 

Hmmmm.

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I'm surprised that Florida wildlife officials aren't taking steps to eradicate these critters, which presumably are not native. If they are native, just disregard this post!

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Trogluddite.    They are not native to Florida. And I am not sure why they are not addressing the issue before it gets out of hand !                                                                                                                                     

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Posted (edited)

Cotter -

 

I don't know, but I did a search for a global map of where monkeys live (and all non-Homo primates for that matter), then examined that with an eye towards the location of the equator and the band of northern and southern deserts that are about 30 degrees N/S of the equator.    That gives me an idea ... could be right, could be wrong.   I don't think there's much territory non-human primates are adapted to that they aren't using that isn't closed to them by expanses of desert lacking food / water / cover for them.  

 

Genus Homo, though?   Well, Neanderthals were cold-adapted, they didn't get forced out / killed off by cold in the north, they were already there ... and stayed.   Our ancestors overcame conditions through use of tools and gathering food, then carrying it.     What's left?   Bigfoot, right?   If they are what I think they are, so far as ecological niche, I think they're likely the North American equivalent of the Neanderthals in Europe and maybe Asia.   No adaptation needed, no return immigration needed, they were already here and doing fine.

 

Leaves a lot painted, or assumed painted :) , with that "very broad brush", but on a broad brush scale it works.

 

MIB

Edited by MIB
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I like how the monkeys came to the food and got their picture taken.

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