Mystery monkey of Tampa Bay gets a girlfriend - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Mystery monkey of Tampa Bay gets a girlfriend

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Photo provided by Dade City’s Wild Things Zoo. Photo provided by Dade City’s Wild Things Zoo.
DADE CITY, FL (WFLA) -

For nearly four years, the Mystery Monkey of St. Petersburg eluded capture. Some local residents took photos and video of the rhesus macaque monkey, but wildlife officials could not capture him.  Finally luck ran out and the monkey was safely captured last October.

For almost a year, the monkey, now named 'Cornelius', has called Dade City's Wild Things Zoo home.

Zoo president Randy Stearns said the monkey is doing great.

"He's adjusted quite well. We will be coming by on a tour and he'll just come up and to you and start talking and chatting away," Stearns said.

The custom made enclosure that the monkey lives in is part of a tour offered at the zoo. Stearns says 'Cornelius' is quite popular.

"He's kind of became a legend in Tampa and he made national and international news," Stearns said.

And things are about to heat up for the shy primate.  Wild Things has recently acquired a female companion for 'Cornelius'.  Her name is 'Chrissy'.

Stearns says, "it's nice for him to have a friend to hang out with. And the girl we found has the same temperament as him. He's a very laid back guy. He loves to just sit around. He's not very active and the one we got for him is the same way so we think they will get along very well."

'Chrissy is still in quarantine and she'll be there for the next couple of weeks. When she is finally given a clear bill of health, she'll join 'Cornelius' in her new home.

When asked if this new relationship will mean baby monkeys in the future, Stearns said, "it's possible. Right now we're just working with the vet. But everyone agrees that this is a really good thing for him."

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