HomeOutdoorsViralWATCH: Monkeys in Florida Park Engage in Tree-Top Turf War Before Dive-Bombing the Water Below

WATCH: Monkeys in Florida Park Engage in Tree-Top Turf War Before Dive-Bombing the Water Below

by Brett Stayton
(Photo by: Mike Powles/Getty Images)

Florida is such a wild place. At least once a day, a headline erupts out of the Sunshine State that makes you scratch your head and ask yourself “what the hell is even going on down there?” This time it’s a news story and footage of two gangs of wild monkeys engaging in a tree-top turf war before some of the primates go soaring into the water below.

Now most readers have probably just called a timeout and are trying to figure out if and why there are wild monkeys in Florida, to begin with. The first answer is yes. The second answer is probably because it’s a lawless and enchanting land. A place where the wildest things you can imagine are just a typical walk in the park. Want a more scientifically historic answer? Well then, according to Fox 13 News in Tampa Bay, it’s possibly because they were accidentally released in 1939 while a Tarzan movie was being filmed. Either that or the monkeys were intentionally released into a park in the 1930s in an attempt to increase tourism.

Florida has become a biological blender of exotic species from around the world. Most notably pythons, boa constrictors, iguanas, capybaras, and peacock bass. Less well-known but equally as fascinating is the presence of rhesus macaques. The monkeys live along the Silver River somewhere between Gainesville and Orlando. There are believed to be hundreds of monkeys residing in Silver Springs State Park. State wildlife officials want to eliminate the invasive species from the park, mostly because they can spread herpes. No herpes is always a good thing.

The monkeys are a major tourist attraction, with people oftentimes visiting the park just to see them. Twice before the park had to close due to aggressive monkeys threatening people. Not everyone wants to see the monkeys removed from the park though.

Wild Monkeys Wage Tree Top Turf War In Florida Forest

Back on December 3, Matthew Schwanke was recording a video while floating on the Silver River. That’s when a troop of more than 20 macaques began leaping off the tree limbs above, splashing into the water below.

“They’re all jumping!” one of his sons yells in the video. “Dad, back up!”

“It’s raining monkeys!” he joked.

Schwanke’s account of the incident seems to indicate there was some sort of turf war brewing between two rival troops of monkeys. He said it looked like one group of monkeys was being run off their roost by another group of monkeys from the other side of the river.

Whatever was going on between the monkeys, it sure made for some fascinating video footage.