Monkey on the loose spotted at Popeyes

Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 11:45 AM CDT
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ORANGE CITY, Fla. (WESH) - Something’s been monkeying around with people a half-hour north of Orlando.

Kim Bialobos, a shift manager at an Orange City Popeyes, said it caught her eye while making preparations at the drive-thru window.

“Corner of my eye, and I’m like this cannot be possible,” Bialobos said. “And I’m like, I’m telling everybody, ‘Listen, there’s a monkey!”

She shared pictures she took as the cheeky monkey cruised around, finally hopping over the fence separating the restaurant from a wooded area.

“He’s a smart monkey, because he stopped right here, and, like, he looked over at the traffic, and he knew not to go that way,” she said.

Orange City police say they started getting calls Friday for a half-dozen or more sightings in different parts of the city within a three-mile range.

“It’s not every day you hear about a monkey on the loose,” said Lt. Sherif El-Shami.

Apparently, the elusive creature is trying to make a monkey out of them.

“It’s just, we would send someone out to that area, no luck,” El-Shami said. “We can’t find it, and it just kept going on several days, throughout the several days.”

Bialobos says the monkey is pretty big.

“He looked very well groomed. He was very maintained,” she said. “He looked healthy. You know, he didn’t look like a wild monkey.”

Police are asking anyone who sees the monkey to immediately report it to them or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They don’t want anyone to approach or engage the animal.”

“It could be dangerous, and we don’t know that (it’s not), so not to get near it, not to feed it,” El-Shami said.

Police say no one has claimed they lost a pet. The nearest zoo and animal sanctuaries also haven’t notified police that they are missing an animal.

So far, it’s mysterious monkey business.

Florida has a wildlife alert hotline for such sightings: 888-404-3922.