Friday, March 12, 2010

There's A Monkey on Our Roof

How would you feel to rush outside, look up onto your roof and see a monkey standing there, staring down at you? Surprised? To say the least.

My friend thought a man was walking on her roof. She looked outside from the backyard but didn't see anything. It wasn't until her daughter ran inside crying, "Mom come look, there's a monkey standing on our roof." By the time they made it outside, the monkey was on his way to another roof and then across the street, before he disappeared.

But in Florida? Yes, we have plenty of loose monkeys within the state. In 2006 several Patas monkeys escaped from the Lakeland Park. This African monkey grows to 3 feet and can run 34 mph. Fast little buggers. They prefer to live in open areas and eat insects, seeds, and plant tubers. Florida suits them quite well.

The story goes ... during the shooting of several Tarzan films (1930 to 1948) in and around Port Charlotte, Florida, rounding up the monkeys after filming became a huge job. The film crew decided that gathering up the primates was the waste of time, money and effort. I'm sure since the Johnny Weissmuller days, these adorable animals have multiplied and enjoyed living in Florida. It's paradise!

Another monkey story . . . according to the Charlotte County Sun Herald Newspaper, , dated March 5, 2010, page four, a rhesus macaque monkey had been spotted in the Tampa Bay area, but eluded capture again. It ducked behind a church and drugstore, escaping to enjoy its freedom for another day. The wildlife personnel in charge of capturing the monkey reported that this "primate is smart, even stopping to check traffic before crossing a busy street."

So if you see a monkey on your roof, you are not the first person to have this monumental experience and probably won't be the last. Enjoy the view, wave and smile. It's Florida.


Mary E. Trimble said...

Oh, how fun. I love monkeys. When we were in Africa with the Peace Corps, one of the African nurses had a monkey, Charlie, and she let me take him home so my husband could see him. He was a rascal though. I imagine your recent cold weather hasn't been pleasant for the Florida monkeys--they like warmth.

Lori said...

I'm not a big fan of monkeys; they're messy, they eat the fruit off your fruit trees, and it you get too close, they throw excrement at you. Mind you, I don't think they belong in cages, or should be killed off (horrors!) but I do think that people shouldn't encroach on their habitat -- and they should stay away from my house! But since I live in North Dakota, I probably don't need to worry about a monkey on my roof (although I did see a large African parrot in my backyard one summer... it was an escapee from someone's home! It's a bit of a shock to look out your window in ND and see a tropical bird, happily sitting in a tree!). But this is a great, fun story -- with some good stories about how those monkeys ended up in Florida! Great reading, Gwyn!

Eunice Boeve said...

I had no idea there were monkeys in Florida. Little rascals that they are, I'd think one could get to be a nusiance. Humans have certainly changed what used to be the normal for animal and plant life. At our place in Montana, a pretty orange flower grows oh so abundantly. It's a weed from Russia and will, if left unchecked, take over your lawn, fields, etc. My sister lives in Jacksonville, probably too far north for monkeys.

Morgan Mandel said...

So, it's not some kind of new phrase. Monkeys really do go on people's roofs. They certainly are cute! I haven't seen any in Illinois yet, except at the zoo ages ago. Haven't been there in a while.

Morgan Mandel

Max Boughner said...

Yay! Why did your friend's daughter cry after seeing the monkey on the roof? She was probably surprised! Well... My girlfriend would probably scream if she was there. The monkey-on-the-roof situation is very unusual in other places, though.

Max Boughner