When most people think of Orlando Florida, they think of Walt Mickey Mouse or Goofy, but over the last couple of days they have a new animal friend, the herpes infected monkey. Orlando’s News 6 has put out a warning from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission telling locals to beware of Rhesus macaque monkeys, which can carry the herpes B virus. To add to the fun, that’s not even the manageable illness that can be treated by creams. The CDC reports that Herpes B has a 70% mortality rate.
According to reports, the monkeys, which weigh between 2-17 pound have already bitten and scratched multiple people in the area. The monkeys have been known to be in the area for a long time, but it is expected that recent brush fires have pushed them into populated areas. Recently, they’ve been spotted on roofs, in trees of populated neighborhoods, and even around swimming pools.
If the idea of Monkeys in Florida sounds weird to you, here’s a little background. There have actually been monkeys in Florida since the 1930’s, when they escaped from Silver Springs State Park in Ocala. Over the years, stories of their origins have ranged from them being escaped lab animals, to part of a failed tourist attraction, and even escaped movie critters from classic Tarzan films that were produced in the area. There’s also a good chance that some of the monkeys on the loose are Ferrell animals that are descendants from escaped house pets.