FWC searching for monkey they believe might be on the loose in north Lakeland

LAKELAND, Fla. - Residents in the Lake Gibson area of north Lakeland are on the lookout for a critter, perhaps a monkey, after law enforcement began receiving reports of sightings Sunday night.

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Baryl Martin, the agency was alerted to what is being described as a primate from "fox squirrel up to a chimp-size" and what the residents believe are animal calls.

Martin said five FWC units were searching for the possible monkey and two video surveillance devices were placed in the area of North Socrum Loop Road and Marcum Road in hopes of catching the animal on video.

A Lake Gibson High School spokesperson said the school administration and teachers had been informed to be on the lookout for the animal and report it if they see it.

The officers are looking for tracks or prints from the animal to determine what exactly the residents have seen. Martin cautioned that there have been no official confirmation that a monkey or some other type of primate was loose in the area, but there are taking the reports seriously.

If someone sees the animal, they can report it to the FWC at 1-888-404-FWCC.

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