NPR The “mystery monkey” who had been on the loose in the Tampa Bay area for more than three years was captured Wednesday, our friends at WUSF report. As WUSF’s Scott Finn writes, the rhesus macaque monkey had become something of a local legend in Tampa and St. Petersburg. He’d also made the national news and had “his own” Facebook page. It’s thought, as WTSP-TV says,that he “escaped from a small colony of monkeys” that live in Silver Springs, Fla. For much of his time on the lam, the monkey was a popular guy. But as Scott notes, “the lighthearted story became more serious earlier this month, when the mystery monkey bit a woman in her backyard after jumping on her back.” Neighbors had reportedly been feeding him. He was captured, according to WTSP, after “a three-hour stakeout” by wildlife officials near “a wooded area in a south St. Pete neighborhood.” When the monkey was spotted, he was shot with a tranquilizer dart.
One of my favorite stories of the past three years has been this monkey running loose all over the Tampa area. Just biting people and eluding capture left and right, outsmarting Floridians, which cannot be the hardest thing to do. He became a local celebrity and dominated Facebook and Twitter.
It was a great story while it lasted, but we knew that eventually the authorities would catch up to the fugitive primate, and it finally happened today.
I hope you break out again “Mystery Monkey” and return to horrifying Floridians, but if not, we applaud your excellent run as an escaped convict. Well done, you outlaw!