TAMPA, Fla. — Wildlife officials say they spent hours searching for a monkey on the lam in the Tampa area and couldn't locate the animal.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the monkey was first spotted in a tree in a residential area late Wednesday morning. Investigators gave up the search early Wednesday night.
Authorities now believe the monkey is hiding near a local park, but it is unclear if they will continue looking for the primate. A commission spokesman says officials will decide whether to suspend their search for the animal, member of the macaque family, on Thursday morning.
The spokesman says investigators aren't sure where the monkey came from, and representatives from local zoo Lowry Park said the animal isn't from their facility.
Reporter Keith Morelli with The Tampa Tribune reports that the monkey was spotted early this morning in a residential area of Florida. He explains that a population of rhesus macaques lives in the woods of the Silver Springs area, though local officals don't know whether there is a connection.
Conservation Commission spokesman Gary Morse advises that macaques aren't aggressive, but the creatures can be "if you corner them or get in their personal space," he said. "They are very strong and capable of hurting somebody, but only if they feel threatened. They are not going to go out there and hunt somebody down."