Tampa Bay's 'Mystery Monkey' Apprehended After Three-Year Monkeyhunt

A wild rhesus macaque that has been stalking residents of the Tampa Bay area for the past three years was captured yesterday in St. Petersburg after being tranquilized by trappers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Despite being slowed down by a sleeping agent, the so-called "Mystery Monkey" still made a valiant attempt to flee, eluding his captors for an additional "50 to 100 yards" before two FWC staffers and a vet finally nabbed him.

He was subsequently transported to an animal hospital where he will now be tested for contagions.

If he is disease-free, vets will then try to determine where the monkey came from, whether he has an owner, and, ultimately, where he will live going forward.

It has long been surmised that Mystery Monkey had either left or been cast out of a colony in Silver Springs. Since then he has been showing up randomly in and around Tampa, eventually landing himself his very own Facebook fan page.

But things got serious recently when the Mystery Monkey attacked a 60-year-old woman from St. Petersburg, clawing at her torso and biting her neck.

An effort to lure the monkey with bananas failed, though the monkey did manage to make off with the bananas.

[screengrab via ABC Action News]