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Monkeys take up residence near airport

  |   Dec. 17, 2010 at 4:00 AM
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Floridians near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said a family of non-native monkeys has moved into the area with their adopted raccoon.

Dave Winquist, who works near the airport, said the vervet monkeys have been swinging in the Broward County trees for decades but recently became more visible when they migrated north toward the airport, WPLG-TV, Miami, reported Thursday.

"This is the first time I've been around when there's been a whole family just breeding and eating," Winquist said.

Local lore holds the original vervet monkeys, which are native to Africa, were set free by a roadside attraction near Dania Beach in the 1950s, but no evidence exists to confirm the story.

Winquist said as many as 15 of the monkeys have been spotted in the area along with a raccoon that appears to have been adopted as a member of the family.

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