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Monkeys near Two Egg, Florida?

monkeyClaims of monkey sightings near Two Egg are growing more persistent!

The reports focus on the wilderness areas north of Buena Vista Landing, which is about 10 miles east of Two Egg, Florida. The landing provides access to the Chattahoochee River arm of Lake Seminole as well as connected sloughs and nearby Godwin Lake.

Most of the sightings are concentrated along the northern reaches of the slough that leads north from Buena Vista Landing and its northern terminus at Godwin Lake, a spring-fed body of water that predates the 1958 creation of man-made Lake Seminole.

Buena Vista Landing, as seen from the water, is the focal point of the monkey sighting claims.
Buena Vista Landing (seen here from the water) is the focal point of the monkey sighting claims.

Several eyewitnesses requested that their names be withheld but indicated that they had seen small monkeys moving rapidly through the tops of trees around Godwin Lake. Other witnesses, most of whom have fished in the area for decades, describe unusual chattering sounds coming from the tree canopy. They indicate that these sounds are similar to the noises made by certain types of birds, yet different enough to be distinct.

Monkeys, of course, have been a growing problem in Florida for some time. Rhesus monkeys have long been an attraction along the Silver River near Ocala. They were settled there more than 75 years ago by the developer of a river cruise type attraction.

While the monkeys are popular with visitors to the Silver Springs area, they can also be aggressive and dangerous. Check out this recent video of a monkey attack at Silver Springs State Park:

Biologists also warn that monkeys can carry the deadly Herpes-B virus, which they can transmit to humans through bites and scratches.

The Orlando Sentinel reported in 2015 on clear evidence that monkeys from the Silver River were spreading throughout Central Florida. 

Some recent examples of other monkey sightings around the state include the one that eluded capture in the Tampa area for some time and even had his own Facebook page; a Patas monkey that was spotted zipping through treetops and eating fruit in Gainesville; a pet monkey that escaped into the woods in Pasco County; an entire colony of Vervets monkeys that lives in the Dania Beach area; and closer to home a Rhesus macaque (or macaques!) like the ones at Silver Springs has been spotted at Alligator Point, Lanark and Eastpoint.

One of the twisting waterways near Buena Vista Landing in Jackson County, Florida.
One of the twisting waterways near Buena Vista Landing in Jackson County, Florida.

The latter sightings were at the opposite end of the 112-mile long Apalachicola River from Lake Seminole and Buena Vista Landing.

Have the monkeys made the trip upriver to the lake? The distance is only about half that separating Eastpoint near Apalachicola from Silver Springs near Ocala so it is certainly possible. The past winter was also short and relatively warm meaning that leaves and young plants were available in the swamps much earlier than normal.

If you are fishing, boating or paddling out of Buena Vista Landing, keep your eyes open and your cameras ready! The proof will be in the pictures.

Dale Cox
July 8, 2017

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