SILVER SPRINGS (FOX 35) - Officials at Silver Springs State Park in Marion County are trying to figure out how to curb interactions between visitors and monkeys.
“Whenever you talk to people when they're out, they'll say they came and visited specifically to see the monkeys,” explained regular visitor Megan McBride.
McBride says she visits the parks weekly and has seen the animals several times. Rhesus monkeys have been in the area since the 1930s.
While some people appreciate seeing the monkeys, others say they’re becoming a problem.
Two areas of the park have been shut down because of an increase in monkey activity. One woman, who recently visited with her family, says they were very aggressive and even charged at them.
“The population is continuing to grow,” said park manager Sally Lieb. “There's no control on it so more and more monkeys are here so we're concerned we'll see more and more incidents.”
There are warning signs up and state officials say employees try and monitor where the monkeys are hanging out. But Lieb says they may need to go a step further.
“We’re just talking with our friends with FWC, trying to come up with a plan of what we can do. We really don't have an answer right now,” she said.
While park officials look for a solution, they’re warning people not to feed the monkeys and to stay away from them.