According to San Diego State University anthropologist Erin Riley, who studies human-animal interactions, Rhesus Macaques are particularly problematic primates. They can be quite nasty, and they aren’t as afraid of humans as other animals are,” she says.
Since 2016, a number of aggressive monkey displays have resulted in two partial park closures, one of which occurred last summer when a monkey charged a family along one of the park’s boardwalks.
Outside of the park, Silver Springs macaques have also caused trouble. In Ocala, there are photographs of a large group of rhesus monkeys raiding a deer feeder behind a house. Even though the town is just outside the park, stray males occasionally enter the city limits. Some of them have traveled more than 100 miles from their home colony to appear in outlying cities like Tallahassee and Sarasota. Experts warn that the colony in Silver Springs State Park could easily establish new colonies in other parts of the state, as it has already expanded into the Ocklawaha River.