A rhesus monkey was recently spotted near Hudson Beach recently, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

  • Curiosity had some residents out Thursday looking for monkey
  • Rhesus Macaque not native to Florida
  • Seen the monkey? Call 888-404-3922

Pictures of the rhesus macaque circulating online Thursday had some residents out searching for the animal.

"Curiosity kind of got the most of it, we wanted to come here and check it out," said Nicholas Johnson. "The monkey doesn't look that bad. Doesn't look vicious or anything."

Other people in the area who happened to see the monkey got a different impression.

"I just happened to come out of the garage, and I’m looking down the street and I’m going, 'Is that a dog, or is it a big cat?'" said Rollo Townsley, who spotted the monkey on his street on Leisure Beach, right across from Hudson Beach. "And then I thought, 'maybe it’s a bobcat.' And then I thought, 'Wait a minute -- what is that?'"

"It was about three feet tall when it was sitting, and then it took off to the east and ran down beach boulevard," said Tom Applegate, who along with his wife also saw the rhesus macaque. "My wife actually went through the house to see where it went, and she said it was going fast down the street."

It's not known how the monkey ended up near Hudson Beach, because this particular kind is not native to Florida.

Of course, with a monkey on the loose, the jokes aren’t far behind.

"Some people thought, 'well, there’s a lot of monkeys that live in Leisure Beach,' but I think they were talking about their neighbors," said Applegate.

"I don't know, they'll probably say you better get that monkey off your back," said Townsley.

All jokes aside, FWC officials are warning people not to get near or touch the monkey or try to attract it, and that they should secure their trash.

Anyone who has seen it should call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 or the the Exotic Species Hotline at 1-800-266-7883.