The mystery monkey has been caught after being on the run for three years. This monkey was one dubbed Florida’s most wanted because they could never catch him. The mystery about the animal has come to an end after it was taken down with a combination of bananas and dart guns.
“Trappers say he’s been pretty tricky through the years they’ve pursued him,” one trapper said. Another trapper added, “a very resourceful little monkey”.
Mystery Monkey has his own theme song and Facebook page - it’s latest update says he’s been deprived of his liberty.
Cornelius, as wildlife rescuers named the rhesus macaque, was taken to an animal hospital. There, he’ll be quarantined until veterinarians determine he is free of diseases.
He first appeared in St. Petersburg about four years ago. Locals created the Facebook page and fed him junk food to the point that he actually became overweight.
“He’s been well-fed in the sense that he’s been getting a lot of calories, but not well fed in that he hasn’t been eating a balanced diet,” said veterinarian Don Woodman.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials stepped up their efforts to catch the mystery animal a few weeks ago after he bit 60-year-old Shannon Fowler on the back.
But even Fowler found it was “bittersweet” to see Cornelius taken into captivity.
“I feel kind of guilty,” she said.
If he gets a clean bill of health, he’ll likely be sent to a monkey sanctuary. Some locals wondered how he’d get along with his own kind after living among humans for years, but Woodman said not to worry.
He compared Cornelius’ situation to the movie “Castaway,” with Tom Hanks stranded on a desert island.
“He was so lonely that he formed a relationship with a volleyball,” Woodman explained. “Nobody said, ‘Oh, yeah, but he’s free.’”