GROVELAND, Fla. (WSVN) — A wild monkey was spotted wandering the streets near a Florida high school, catching the attention of local residents and wildlife experts.

Maxel Miranda, a local resident, described the encounter as a surprise.

“I was picking up my daughter at school, and then I saw [what] I thought was a cat. When I got closer, I saw it was a monkey.” Miranda managed to capture video footage of the monkey walking on all fours along Silver Eagle Road behind South Lake High School.

Linda Wasko, president of Primate Paradise in Osteen, Florida spoke with a Fox affiliate news station in Orlando and confirmed that this primate was a rhesus macaque. According to Wasko, these monkeys are not uncommon in Central Florida as they potentially migrated from the Wekiva River area. She explained that the population likely descended from a group introduced to Silver Springs in the 1930s.

The sighting marks the second reported appearance of a monkey in the area. Wasko also noted that it is unusual for macaques to be alone was they normally travel in troops.

Rhesus macaques mainly feed on lizards, frogs, and birds and tend to avoid human contact. Wasko advised maintaining a safe distance from the wild monkey and encouraged anyone who spots the macaque to report it to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Groveland is about 30 miles west of Orlando.

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