OCALA, Fla. - A family boat trip turned into a viral video moment after a man from Ocala, Florida captured a video of "high-diving monkeys" at Silver Springs State Park.
During the afternoon boat cruise, dozens of monkeys go flying from a tree, straight into the river. "It just sounded like a war going on back there. Just crazy hootin' and hollerin' and screeching and branches, and it’s just the craziest thing I ever heard," explained Matt Schwanke.
What you don’t see before Schwanke started recording is what he described as a "turf war" between two bands of the Silver Springs macaques. "One jumped off, and then the male started shaking branches, going up there and shaking branches trying to shake them off the tree, and then I started recording, and it was the craziest thing."
Folklore in the area suggests that the macaques were left in the area after the filming of Tarzan Finds a Son in 1939. However, according to University of Florida researchers, the primates were brought in years earlier by a local boat tour company as an attraction. While this is a rare sight, a few years ago a kayaker took video showing the monkeys jumping into the river, just feet away from him.
A lot of people go searching for them, but Schwanke has a warning for anyone planning to get close. "Don’t show your teeth! That will irritate them. If they’re just doing their own thing and you're making monkey noises and showing your teeth, obviously that’s going to irritate them," he said. "If the dominant males see you doing that, they’re going to throw something at you."