View Full Version : Monkey captured looking for love on Valentine's Day

10-10-2012, 07:42 AM

Mystery monkey of Tampa Bay attacks elderly woman
10:07 AM, Oct 10, 2012


ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- The mystery monkey of Tampa Bay has been a celebrity for more than three years now. He has been seen all over the Bay area, he has his own Facebook page, and he's been a popular resident in south St. Petersburg... until now.

The rhesus macaque has bitten someone in the area of Boyd Hill Nature Park, an elderly woman.

Jeff Seilbach is a neighbor of the woman who was attacked, and says it was just a matter of time. "You should see my neighbor's back. The bite marks and claw marks. It just shows you what this animal is capable of," says Seilbach.

10 News spoke with the family involved in the attack. They wouldn't go on camera, but the daughter of the victim says, "The monkey is not afraid of people, so I don't go outside very often. I don't trust the monkey.":rolleyes:

Neighbor Jeff agrees. Just a few months ago, wildlife officials urged the public not to feed the monkey, fearing he would become dependant on humans for food, becoming aggressive, and that's exactly what's happened.

"He gets up in my tree and starts shaking it because he wants to be fed. If you don't feed him, he cops an attitude," says Seilbach.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission issued this statement Tuesday night: "FWC's concern is for the woman who was bitten and the animal. In order to bring this to its best possible conclusion, we need the cooperation of everyone in staying away from the area so that we can do our job."

10-14-2012, 09:17 AM

Trapping the Mystery Monkey
9:35 PM, Oct 13, 2012

10 News spotted the Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay for ourselves. The animal acted very aggressive :bongo:toward our cameras.

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- The Mystery Monkey's days may be numbered.

At about 40 pounds and less than 3 feet tall, the Mystery Monkey has stirred up a St. Petersburg community and gained national attention. He's become part of the neighborhood and some homeowners want him to stay, but is that what's best for the Mystery Monkey, who's not so much of a mystery anymore?

Saturday morning in the south St. Petersburg neighborhood the monkey frequents went on as usual, whether it was a day on the greens, a morning work out on the bike, or a walk with the dogs. But one resident preferred hiding in the woods.

"He's like the mask bandit you can't find," said golfer Bill Buttner.

Known as the "Mystery Monkey," the rhesus macaque has become more like a neighbor who drops by unexpected. "He's been on our roof couple of times, our lanai a couple of times, in the back yard. A year ago, he was on a window ledge peeking in," said Jerry Bishop.

"He's not threatening," said Buttner.

The monkey did not appear dangerous until he bit a homeowner on the shoulder, but was it an attack? Wildlife rescuer Vernon Yates said no. "I don't think it's fair to say it was an attack. The monkey got on her shoulder, she freaked, he freaked, they couldn't separate from each other," said Yates. "What it does prove is the monkey is becoming more socially accepting to people, which does create a bigger danger."

It's clear the monkey is being fed. Along the wooden fence where many golfers say they see him sitting, there are pieces of fresh half-eaten apples on the ground.

Traps with food have been set, but Yates said they don't work because people disturb them. The next step is a trap using a 1-year-old macaque as a lure. Yates is confident this will work "because he's socially starving for his own kind."

Yates believes people are the monkey's number one enemy right now. "For his own well-being, they need to not to make eye contact with him. They need to not feed him. They need to leave him alone,";) said Yates.

If you encounter the monkey, his behavior from showing teeth to lunging at you should not be thought of as playful, but a warning. "In his own language, it's him telling you to back off," said Yates.

If the monkey bites another person, Yates said the outcome will not be good. "At that point, he will become a public danger. No question he will be shot."

When the trap using the live monkey is set, Yates said it will be watched 24/7 to make sure no one tampers with it. Once the monkey is captured, he will be sent to one of two private wildlife rescue facilities.

10-24-2012, 03:46 PM

Mystery Monkey Caught After 2 Years On The Lam
October 24, 2012 3:13 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) ó The wild monkey that was on the lam in St. Petersburg for two years has finally been captured.:(

Animal trapper Vernan Yates says the monkey was caught Wednesday on a low branch in a tree. He was hired by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservative Commission to catch the monkey.

Yates said earlier this instead of luring the rhesus macaque with a female, he would use Doc, a 1-year-old male that will sit inside a custom-designed trap and snack on fruit. The goal was to entice the mystery monkey with companionship and food.

The monkey bit a woman earlier this month and itís not exactly clear where the monkey came from.

02-15-2016, 07:52 AM

Monkey captured looking for love on Valentine's Day
11:23 p.m. EST February 14, 2016


Looking for love in all the wrong places, a young male rhesus macaque monkey was discovered in a tree in Pasco County this morning.

"He probably decided that he wanted to breed some of the females and the older male kicked his butt out and sent him out of the troop," said Vernon Yates of Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation.

Named Valentine, because of the day of his capture, experts believe he was likely looking for a date.

If this sounds familiar, it is. A mystery monkey named Cornelius tricked trappers and posed for photos in St. Petersburg for years until he was captured in 2012. The "Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay," made headlines around the world. Chances are, Cornelius and Valentine are cousins.:rolleyes:

Before your heart gets broken at Valentine, a wild monkey being captured, Woodman says he shouldn't be anywhere in the wild in Florida in the first place.

"Just like the pythons, we don't want monkeys running around either. Monkeys are probably a little bit more cuddly in peoples imagination but they're not cuddly in reality," Woodman said

Yates will bring Valentine back to his wildlife rescue while he makes calls to find him a permanent home. The monkey just doesn't have any business...here.