ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Department of Natural Resources is asking for the public's help to find a monkey that is apparently on the loose.
Several sightings have been reported recently around Southwest Georgia.
When you talk about a monkey sighting in Albany there's usually one reaction.
"I'm pretty surprised," said Albany resident Cody Stegemiller.
"It's crazy like how did a money get here," Nathan Lindsey who is also an Albany resident.
For people fishing along the Flint River it's not something they expected to see.
"I know I wanna see it but I won't get very close to it," explained Stegemiller.
It may sound like a rumor, but DNR officials believe that it's true.
They are searching for a small primate that could be a Rhesus macaque.
"They are probably two and a half to three feet tall at the most.They don't stand upright they tend to travel on all fours and they are tan in color," said Chehaw Park Director of Animal Care Ben Roberts.
Roberts said the monkey is native to India or southeast Asia, so it's probably part of a pet trade.
"It's potential that it was purchased and released because they didn't want it anymore or it escaped," explained Roberts.
It's illegal to own an animal like that in Georgia without a special permit, but Roberts said that it could have come from Alabama or Florida.
The DNR said there have been sightings in Bainbridge, Baker County and most recently along the Kinchafooneee Creek.
Roberts said that if the animal was a pet it's probably used to people, but it's still dangerous.
"The biggest thing that I would be concerned about from a captive standpoint is that old world monkeys have a type of herpes," said Roberts. "I'm certainly not going to try and grab it. I am certainly not going to try and catch it myself or mess with it in any sort of way. It's best to just leave it alone and keep an eye on it."
This is not the first time that people in South Georgia have reported seeing a monkey.
Last September, residents in Lowndes County reported seeing a primate.
Roberts said that if anybody sees the monkey, they should stay away.
Those who locate it should call DNR officials at (229) 430-4254 or the State Operations Center at 1-800-241-4113.