LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A monkey spotted at an elementary school in The Villages has been the talk of the town.
Officials at The Villages Elementary of Lady Lake said the monkey wasn’t around long--it hopped on the roof of the school, ran back and forth for a few minutes, then hopped off and ran across the street into a wooded area.
“He says, ‘You’ll never guess what’s on the roof of the school.’ I’m thinking, a bird? What? He says a monkey,” said parent Rhonda Lehman.
Photos: Monkey in The Villages
She couldn’t believe it when her husband called and told her he was staring at a monkey on top of their daughter’s school earlier this week.
The monkey appeared right as parents were lining up to pick up their children.
“We heard they were chasing it down, trying to make sure it didn’t harm anybody or anything like that. I think it was probably just passing through,” Lehman said.
Witnesses said the monkey darted around on the roof for a few minutes then disappeared into the woods across the street.
School officials called animal control, but by the time they arrived, the monkey was gone.
“I thought it was kind of cool, just to see a monkey at our school,” said student Christa Lehew.
Officials said it was a rhesus monkey, which can be dangerous.
Experts said they’re bad tempered, powerful monkeys that, if cornered, can injure or kill an adult human.
Experts said they will attack people and can carry a deadly strain of herpes.
If the animal bites, scratched or spits on a person, that person can become infected.
Wildlife officials said the monkey didn’t interact with anyone and hasn’t been seen since, but they plan to keep an eye out for it.