Patas monkey sighted in Williston
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-758-0525
A Patas monkey has been spotted in the Williston area in a
block of woods between County Road 318 and 217th Court.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) is asking for the public's assistance if the
animal is spotted, because the monkey can be dangerous to anyone
who might try to handle it.
"So far, capture techniques have proved to be
ineffective," said Maj. Lee Beach, FWC regional commander. "We are
asking that the public not approach this animal or attempt to feed
FWC personnel did set a trap for the monkey, but
the animal proved to be elusive. Darting is also problematic
because of the speed and agility of the animal.
"These monkeys are called the 'greyhounds' of the
primate world," Beach said. "They can run about 35 mph. If we were
able to get a dart in the animal, we could lose it in the
According to officials, Patas monkeys, which are
ground-dwellers, can grow to approximately 3 feet tall, not
including the tail, and weigh up to 30 pounds. The body, limbs,
feet and hands are long and slim. It has a dark face with a white
mustache and beard.
"Another physical feature is that they have 2-inch
canine teeth," Beach said.
The FWC classifies captive wildlife in different
categories, according the danger the animal can present. The Patas
monkey is a Class II animal, which requires substantial experience
to handle, and it has specific cage requirements. Other Class II
animals include badgers, wolverines, alligators, wolves and clouded
"From this list, you can see why we believe the
monkey could hurt someone and why we are asking that the public not
approach the animal," Beach said.
Officials are asking the public to report sightings
of this monkey to the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922, or
call the FWC regional office in Lake City at 386-758-0525.
"We're also asking for reports if this animal is
found dead, so we can close this investigation," Beach said.