Spider monkey sighting reported in Virginia

A family in Virginia say they see and hear three spider monkeys outside their home.

Are there spider monkeys on the loose in Isle of Wight? | WTKR.com.

You’d likely catch a glimpse of a Spider monkey in South America, not in the backyard of an Isle of Wight home.

So, how did three spider monkeys potentially end up there? Good question! And it’s one Amanda Jones Williams especially wants answered.

She says she caught three monkeys on video last Wednesday morning  after she and her youngest son saw one of them climbing a tree in her backyard the day before.

In the video, you can’t make out what it is, but you do see something move from branch to branch in her fruit tree out back. At one point, several plums fall to the ground.

Williams’ son Terrance says he saw three of them – two large adult monkeys and what looked to be a baby monkey.

But the video is terrible, traps have been left untouched, and wildlife officials can find no trace of them. Spider monkeys are not native to the U.S. (no monkey or ape is). Yet, there indeed are places in Florida, for example, that have a population of monkeys that have escaped and are living feral. However, there is no evidence given for this case except for the Williams’ reports and inconclusive video. Is this impossible? No. But it is improbable. A misidentification is far more likely.

Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi ornatus) An individual browsing, showing the exceptionally long limbs that give them their name. Tortuguero, Costa Rica Photo: Wikipedia

Spider Monkey
(Ateles geoffroyi ornatus)
An individual browsing, showing the exceptionally long limbs that give them their name.
Tortuguero, Costa Rica Photo: Wikipedia

  6 comments for “Spider monkey sighting reported in Virginia

  1. June 22, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    If these monkeys are there then odds are they are someone pets that recently escape, and the owner would most likely have had them here illegally which is why they’re escape would not have been reported. If these monkeys do exist then that would make the most sense to me because I highly doubt they could have lived here (I live in Virginia) for years and have survived the winters here, especially the last one

  2. Indrid Cole
    June 22, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    We have a couple of research facilities not far away that have jailbreaks every once in awhile.
    Lois Key and Racoon Key are also famous for their monkey populations, I think the locals got tired of all the mess the monkeys made and got them evicted from the islands which are owned by a Bausch and Lomb research subsidiary.

  3. Brian
    June 22, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    If it’s mistaken identity, what else would it be?

    Since monkeys do escape, it’s at least a plausible story. What makes it more plausible to me is how specific they were about it – if someone were confused about what they are seeing, you’d think they’d come up with something either more fantastic, or more mundane (bigfoot or big squirrels). To see something odd in the woods and deciding it’s spider monkeys would be a pretty obscure conclusion unless they got a good look at it.

  4. idoubtit
    June 22, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    People are astounding poor at observation and perception. If they think monkeys, they see monkeys.

  5. busterggi
    June 23, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    Years ago when I worked for the New Britain Health Department word went around about a monkey & a German Shepard running loose. Everyone but me thought it was a joke but I knew it was just my parent’s neighbors pets having agood time.

    Capuchan monkeys are great at undoing knots & clips and Flint (the monkey) liked having the dog for company so when she would get loose she would also release her buddy.

    BTW – monkeys are horrible pets.

  6. June 29, 2014 at 5:19 AM

    I worked this case for 5 days. Went to every home in the local area searching for evidence, spent hours working the woods. The home owner refused to give us a copy of the video so we could enhance it. None of the feeding times were correct ( when they supposively saw they) Professional opinion a hoax!

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