May 9 (UPI) -- Wildlife officials in Florida are warning residents not to approach a family of monkeys that appears to have moved into the neighborhood.
Residents of the Water's Edge Drive area in Fruitland Park, about 30 miles from where a loose monkey was recently caught on camera in Apopka, said there have been scattered monkey sightings for months, but recently what appears to be a family of rhesus macaques appears to have moved into the neighborhood.
The monkeys have repeatedly been caught on camera in recent days.
"I went past the walkway that goes to the private fishing dock and I saw a monkey. That's the first time I've ever seen one," Christopher Hicks, who captured a photo of a monkey Monday afternoon, told WKMG-TV.
Penny Testerman, who said she fight spotted a monkey in the area in December, blamed the primates for knocking the fruit off her orange tree.
"As you can see, he's knocked all the oranges down," Testerman said."I think people are feeding them, and I think they need to stop because then they will be expecting humans to give them food, and then that's when they become aggressive."
She said she recently had an unusual encounter with one of the animals.
"I heard this water dripping down and I looked up, and I saw this tail, and he was actually peeing," Testerman told WFTV.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is distributing flyers in the area warning residents not to feed or approach the monkeys.
"Your community is being alerted and asked to provide information on past and current sightings," the FWC said. "Reports should be filed as quickly as possible after an encounter. Please be prepared to furnish several details, regarding your observation, including approximate size of the animal, location and time of day. If possible, please take a photo to aid in accurate identification."
Officials said the Fruitland Park sightings do not appear to be related to the Apopka sightings.
The rhesus macaques, native to Asia, are thought to be related to a group of monkeys brought to Silver Springs State Park in the 1930s as part of a river cruise attraction.
The University of Florida estimates up to 200 of the monkeys live in the region currently.