Tampa Bay's 'mystery monkey' caught after 3 years on the run

October 24, 2012 

Tampa Bay's mystery monkey has finally been caught.

The elusive rhesus macaque was darted and captured Wednesday, according to Vernon Yates, a licensed trapper and local wildlife expert.

Yates said the monkey is being taken to the Animal Hospital of Northwood, in Safety Harbor.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that residents in the Lake Maggiore area had been trying to trap the monkey over the last week.

On Friday, the monkey carefully reached into a cage set to trap him, snatched a banana and slipped away without triggering the trap.

The monkey also evaded the trap a second time. When the door slammed shut behind the monkey, he managed to force it open and escape.

Plans were under way to bring a different kind of bait: A decoy monkey named "Doc." It was not immediately confirmed if "Doc" was a factor in the monkey's capture.

Trappers like Yates had been after the elusive monkey for three years. Attempts to capture it stepped up in the last three weeks after the monkey bit a woman outside her home.

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