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Mystery Monkey 2: Possible Patas monkey on the lam in Lakeland

9:30 AM, Oct 8, 2013   |    comments
File photo of a Patas monkey. Photo courtesy Brocken Inaglory/Wikipedia
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Lakeland, Florida -- Cornelius the Mystery Monkey may be enjoying retirement after his capture last year, but another primate appears to have taken up his moniker in Tampa Bay... this time in Lakeland.

The Lakeland Ledger reports multiple residents in the Pine Ridge Estates spotted a small simian going from yard to yard, eating fruit and raiding bird feeders.

Based on witness descriptions, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission thinks the animal is a Patas monkey. Officials don't believe it is a concern to public safety.

Cameras are being set up in one yard in hopes of capturing images of the monkey, which is believed to be about two or three feet tall.

It's not clear where the monkey came from. In 2008, 15 Patas monkeys escaped from the Safari Wild refuge in Polk County. Officials say it took eight months to recapture all of them.

Another monkey, a rhesus macaque, made national headlines as the "Mystery Monkey" when he eluded capture while roaming Pinellas County for more than two years.  

Wildlife officials safely captured him in October of 2012, and after naming him Cornelius after a character from Planet of the Apes, brought him to live at Dade City's Wild Things.

The zoo plans to introduce a girlfriend for Cornelius in the near future.

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