ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — In the hours after a monkey on the lam fell into a woman’s pool and then swiped some fruit from her backyard tree, fans of the wily primate cheered it for avoiding capture.
"It’s something that you can kind of cheer for," said Amy Ellis, a Pasco County employee who has become a fan of the monkey on Facebook. "Every day there’s so much bad news. He’s kind of like a little hero."
The rhesus macaque monkey has avoided capture for nearly a year.
Authorities don’t know where the animal came from, but some believe it could have gotten separated from a troupe of wild monkeys in an Ocala-area state park, some 118 miles north of St. Petersburg.
Another possibility: the animal could have escaped from an owner who doesn’t have a permit and is therefore not registered with authorities.
The creature has captivated people in Tampa Bay and beyond — possibly because of his ability to outwit the humans trying to catch him.
The Facebook page dedicated to the monkey had more than 31,000 fans as of Wednesday evening.
-- Robin Palmer