Friday, March 05, 2010

Twice-Tranquilized Monkey Again Eludes Capture

monkey escapes captureEven after being hit twice with tranquilizer darts, the rhesus macaque that has been on the loose for months in the Tampa Bay area managed to escape again Wednesday afternoon.

The monkey was spotted about 2 p.m. near 54th Avenue South and 22nd Street South, said Gary Morse, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Officials with the commission, police and wildlife rehabilitator Vernon Yates went to the scene. The monkey was in some trees when it was shot and hit by two tranquilizers.

It then jumped from tree to tree. It landed on a subdivision road and crossed it. It went back in a tree and ran into an open area behind a Walgreens and a church off 54th Avenue South and got away.

"The drugs just don't seem to affect him for whatever reason," said Yates. "We've increased the dosage every time that we've shot him. What we're really doing is turning him into a drug addict."

Authorities suspended the search at sundown and will resume it if someone spots the male monkey.

The monkey presents no threat to humans, said Yates. He has been tracking it for a more than a year since it was first spotted in Hudson. It also was sighted several times in Hillsborough County and northern Pinellas County.

Full story here.

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