Half of the Floridians labeled “crazy” for claiming to have seen a monkey roaming their neighborhood over the past few years are owed an apology now that a simian has been captured by authorities.
The other half?
Well, they actually are crazy.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Baryl Martin confirmed that a rhesus macaque monkey referred to as the “Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay” for its elusive ways was darted by a veterinarian Wednesday. The 40-pound simian, believed to have been cast out of a colony in Silver Springs near Ocala, Florida (They have colonies of monkeys down there?), had eluded trappers and authorities for years.
This notoriety garnered the animal a Facebook page and stories about it have appeared on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” and in a National Geographic special.
The monkey hunt was stepped up after the creature bit a 60-year-old woman on the back earlier this month. The woman, who does not wish to be identified, was sitting on her porch when the opposable-thumbed vermin appeared from nowhere to scratch, bite, and gnaw on her skin. This want of closeness on the monkey’s part might have stemmed from residents feeding it over the past few weeks.
Yep. That’ll do it.
Martin said trappers spotted the monkey sitting on a low-hanging branch near Country Club Way South and Fairway Avenue South in St. Petersburg’s Lakewood Estates on Wednesday. The monkey was shot with a tranquilizer dart and quickly apprehended.
The monkey will remain under observation until it is moved to a “facility.”