Marauding rhesus macaques dive bomb into river in Florida

Monkey see, monkey do! Bizarre moment dozens of marauding rhesus macaques dive bomb one-by-one into river in Florida in front of kayakers

  • A family out kayaking had to dodge monkeys leaping from a tree into the river
  • Cheyenne Sosebee, 28, filmed the agile primates jumping into the water below
  • Rangers told those kayaking to ‘move away’ from the group of rhesus monkeys

A family on a kayaking trip were forced to dodge dozens of potentially deadly monkeys that had dive-bombed into the river in front of them.  

Cheyenne Sosebee was paddling through the Silver Springs State Park in Ocala, Florida, with her family on September 20 when she spotted marauding rhesus macaques overhead.

The 28-year-old had just kayaked away from the tree that the primates started to leap from only seconds later.

Video footage taken by the stay-at-home mother shows the monkeys throwing themselves from a tree and into the water below.

One-by-one the monkeys dive-bomb into the river during the bizarre display, fearlessly launching themselves almost to the opposite side of the river.


Cheyenne Sosebee was kayaking at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala, Florida, with her family on September 20 when marauding rhesus macaques began jumping from a tree above them

The rhesus monkeys, which are native to southeast Asia, carry herpes B which can be potentially fatal to humans

Rangers are heard warning people to ‘move away from the monkeys, you don’t want them to attack you’ as Ms Sosebee continues to film the primates splashing into the river. 

Around 30 per cent of the species carry herpes B, which is potentially fatal to humans, but it is unlikely to spread from the monkeys, according to WDBO.

Ms Sosebee said: ‘Before we moved our kayak away from their tree, I was worried about them landing on us. I certainly wouldn’t want them in my boat. Seconds after we moved, they started jumping.

‘I didn’t want them jumping into my boat or pooping on me. I learned years ago they can carry a herpes b virus, which can be fatal to humans.

‘I knew they could swim but I had no idea they dive-bombed the water from the top of trees and with babies on their backs.’ 

The monkeys travel by jumping from tree-to-tree but often leap from trees into the water below to reach the other side of a river.

The agile primates are able to propel themselves the majority of the way across the river, allowing them to swim the short distance to the opposite bank.

Rhesus macaques also enjoy jumping from heights and diving into water just for fun, according to the 2014 BBC documentary Monkey Planet.

Ms Sosebee said that she had never heard about monkeys jumping into the water before and said it was ‘fun’ to watch from a safe distance.


Ms Sosebee videoed the agile primates propelling themselves from a tree (left) and into the river below (right) to quickly travel from one side of the bank to the other 

She added: ‘I was the first one to notice them, they were running on the bank and I saw them in the trees above us, as soon as I got my camera they started jumping. 

Rangers warned people to ‘move away from the monkeys, you don’t want them to attack you’ as Ms Sosebee, who was with her children (daughter above), filmed the animals

‘I’m assuming they were jumping to get to the other side for foraging. I saw them later walking around the park eating plants.

‘I have always loved this park, so seeing the monkeys crossing was a real incredible treat for me and my family.

‘I have never seen them jumping into the water or that many at once.

‘I have been to Silver Springs many times since I was a kid, but was lucky if I saw maybe one or two. The monkeys are so small but them hitting the water was so loud in person.’ 

The rhesus monkeys are native to southeast Asia and only six arrived in Florida in 1938 during a failed attempt to create a Tarzan-themed attraction on a small island in the park.

The animals have since spread across Silver Springs State Park, which measures around 5,000 acres.

The primates live in forests close to water and can leap up to five metres. They are strong swimmers to enable them to access food and avoid predators.

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