OCALA, Fla. (WFLA) – We’ve all heard the saying “no more monkeys jumping on the bed,” but how about jumping into a river?
While on a river cruise in Ocala, Florida, Matthew Schwanke took a video of a troop of rhesus macaque monkeys diving from a tree into the Silver River in Silver Springs State Park.
On Dec. 3, he posted the video of the monkeys to his Facebook page, stating that he witnessed two rival monkey troops scream at each other and “fight it out for over half an hour.”
“It’s raining monkeys,” Schwanke joked while recording the video. As the boat inched near the falling monkeys, you can hear a kid say, “dad, back up!”
According to National Geographic, Silver Spring State Park is home to at least 300 of the invasive rhesus macaque monkeys.
Aside from being an invasive species, the monkeys also carry a rare and deadly form of herpes that can spread to humans. National Geographic stated that when it spreads to humans, it can be fatal.
Native to south and southeast Asia, the rhesus macaques first arrived in Florida in the 1930s when a tour boat operator released six of the monkeys onto a small island.
National Geographic reported that the operator known as “Colonel Tooey,” released the monkeys onto what is now the state park with the intention to create a Tarzan-themed attraction on the island.
However, the rhesus macaques are strong swimmers and after being on the island for only a few hours, they swam away and escaped into the woods.
Six more macaques were brought onto the island to replace them, but they also escaped. Now, the state park is home to hundreds of descendants of the theme park escapees.