Lovie Smith recalls close encounter with monkeys in Costa Rica

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith experiences close encounter with monkeys during time off

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith and his family experienced a close encounter with monkeys, cutting short their trip to Costa Rica by 41 days.

Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers introduced Lovie Smith as their new coach Monday.

Turns out, Smith had a close call with monkeys during his time off.

The Chicago Bears fired Smith after the 2012 season, and he spent most of the past year away from the sideline, re-evaluating his coaching approach. He also found time to take a trip to Costa Rica, where a planned 50-day stay with his wife, MaryAnne, was cut well short after an encounter involving two large male monkeys.

Here's how Smith explained the incident:

"The first couple days we're there, we had a couple of the small white-faced monkeys. About day six we heard the howling monkeys. Day eight, they come in where the back door is open ... and a few days before my son (Mikal) said, 'Dad, a monkey is four times stronger than a man, so be careful.'

"So about that time, I kept a machete in the back just in case, because (I'm) back in the rain forest with my wife. So about day nine, I look up and there are two big male monkeys standing up on the table with their teeth showing. And I said, 'OK, this is not going to end well.' Anyway, I got a broom. I really didn't have to kill any of the monkeys. We pushed them out of the house, packed up that day and got out.

"Have you every heard a howling monkey?" Smith continued. "They're kind of terrifying sound, so I didn't have to kill any. But we left on Day Nine of a 50-day stay. After that, MaryAnne said, 'Let's go somewhere else. You still have time.' I said, 'We're going to Tampa.' So we were down here on the beach in Tampa. ... So that's my story. As it turned out, I thought it was going to end a lot different than it did, to say the least. But we got out of it alive."

Good thing at that. Still, he left with a unique story.

You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.

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