Palmetto monkey: myth or mystery?

jdeleon@bradenton.comJanuary 22, 2014 

PALMETTO -- Since last week, as reports of monkey sightings continue to multiply, Palmetto residents have been playing a game of Where's Waldo?

Law enforcement officials report they have received multiple monkey sightings -- on Snead Island, near downtown and now north of town -- but so far all reports are unconfirmed.

Two more Palmetto residents Wednesday claimed to have spotted the ape Tuesday jumping between yards in the 600 block of 44th Street Court West in Palmetto Pointe.

"The monkey jumped the fence and into an empty lot next to my house," Brian Holland said.

Holland had been alerted by his neighbor, who first spotted a 3-foot monkey in his own backyard by the pool.

"We all were excited about the sighting even though most of us had no idea there were reports of a monkey on the loose," Eileen Simone emailed. "So he is on the move, apparently northbound."

Palmetto police have not received any new calls about the monkey, according to Deputy Chief Scott Tyler.

"We had a couple calls about it last week," Tyler said. "We'd like to catch it, more for the monkey's sake than anything else."

Anyone who sees the monkey, should call Manatee County Animal Control, Palmetto police or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"We urge people not to feed it because it is a wild animal," Tyler said. "We think if it is staying in Palmetto it's probably because people are feeding it, but we cannot confirm that."

Jessica De Leon, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.

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