Are there spider monkeys on the loose in Isle of Wight?

Posted at 1:04 PM, Jun 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-19 17:31:08-04

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.

Williams called Isle of Wight County Animal Control and says they along with Bear Path Acres came out to set up traps in her backyard.

Williams' son pointed out a picture of a Spider monkey to best depict what he says he saw.

According to wildlife officials, Spider monkeys are domestic animals but exotic to the United States and especially to Virginia. The monkeys, officials say, are legendary for carrying massive diseases.

But, nearly a week after traps were set up, they still sit empty and untouched. Bear Path Acres' CEO tells NewsChannel 3 she has spent hours searching the woods and talking to other neighbors finding no evidence of monkeys.

The family says you often hear a very distinct noise coming from the trees out back. Williams believes it's the animals and they're still close by.

Today, Williams sent us photos of animal control officers putting up their own cameras on her property to get to the bottom of it.