(TAMPA, Fla.) — The mystery monkey of Tampa Bay, who became a local celebrity, has been captured after spending two years on the lam.
Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission waited four hours for the wild rhesus macaque to appear in an area where it had been seen in recent days and tranquilized him with a dart, said Baryl Martin, a Fish and Wildlife official who has been on the monkey’s trail.
Martin said the monkey appeared to be “doing all right” and was being evaluated by a veterinarian.
Earlier this month, the 40-pound monkey jumped on a woman’s back at her home and bit her twice, Martin said, underscoring the need to catch the fugitive primate.
The wild rhesus macaque enjoyed some celebrity during his years of freedom. He was mentioned on The Colbert Report and a Facebook page in his honor garnered more than 86,000 likes.
Once the monkey receives a clean bill of health, Martin said he will likely be sent to a local exotic animal facility until a good home can be found for him.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Rachel Sande, EastIdahoNews.com