Monkey, loose, eludes police St. Petersburg

8:22 AM, Mar 4, 2010   |    comments
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Police look in a tree where a monkey that has been on the loose for months has been sighted.

St. Petersburg, Florida - A monkey that officials have been trying to catch now for several months led a group of trappers, wildlife agents and police officers on a 5 hours chase Wednesday. But when it was over, the monkey was still on the lam.

"In my 10 years of doing wildlife enforcement this is by far the craziest thing I've ever seen," said Tom Chase with Florida Fish and Wildlife.

PHOTOS: Pictures of the monkey chase

The monkey, which is thought to be a male 30-pound rhesus macaque, was spotted in a tree off 54th Avenue South near 22nd Street around 2 P.M. 

Local Pinellas County wildlife expert Vernon Yates managed to hit the animal with a tranquilizer dart. The monkey became sedated and appeared to fall asleep while clinging to a branch in the top of a tree. When a second tranquilizer dart was fired at the primate, it awoke and then bolted from the tree.

The chase was then on as officials tried to keep up with the animal as it jumped from tree to tree. It eventually jumped on the ground and quickly ran from authorities.

"It was extremely agile, like I'm talking Spiderman agile," said Marc Ortiz after he tried tackling the monkey.

RELATED: St. Pete Monkey has Facebook pages

St. Petersburg Police and Florida Fish and Wildlife officers also helped try and catch the monkey but by sunset, the chase was called off.

"We should have given him enough drugs he should of went down but for whatever reason, what we're really doing is turning him into a drug addict," Yates joked.

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