Mystery Monkey Of Tampa Bay Puts Down Roots

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CBS Tampa/AP) — A monkey that has eluded capture for nearly two years has seemingly taken up more permanent residence in a family’s backyard.

The Tampa Bay Times ( ) reports that the rhesus macaque monkey lives in the backyard of a secluded Pinellas County home of a retired couple, their elderly mother and an aging cat named Koko.

The family feeds the monkey and the animal is calm and friendly, a practice not always recommended by wild animal experts.

The newspaper saw the primate but is not revealing his location.

In 2009, he became known as the Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay, after traveling from Pasco County to Clearwater and eventually Pinellas County. He was shot repeatedly by trappers’ dart guns and featured on Comedy Central.

A Nashville country duo wrote a song about him. He has more than 82,000 fans on Facebook.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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