One of Tampa Bay’s most notorious fugitives is making the move to Pasco County.
Cornelius, the rhesus macaque who eluded capture for years while making headlines throughout Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, is anticipated to arrive at Dade City’s Wild Things zoo on Monday, according to TBO.com.
The little macaque’s antics earned him plenty of press – both good and bad.
There were sightings of him in Temple Terrace, Town ‘N County and Pasco County during his years on the run. The little critter, believed to have been cast out of a colony in Silver Springs, was also accused of biting a woman during his lengthy life on the lam in Pinellas County.
The Mystery Monkey, who was renamed Cornelius after a character in “The Planet of the Apes,” earned such a strong following, he even has his own Facebook page. His story was twice featured on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report,” taking the name of the Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay national.
Cornelius was captured back in October and was put in quarantine at a Safety Harbor animal hospital for a time. His eventual fate remained in the balance until it was announced that he would join the other animals living at the 20-acre zoo in Dade City.
Mystery Monkey Fan Club
Cornelius is such a local celebrity the zoo has created a fan club in his honor. There are six levels of sponsorships that range from $10 to $1,000. Each level comes with its own special perks, such as photos of Cornelius, discounts on meals and free annual passes for the zoo’s safari ride and sunken jungle tour.
To find out more about the fan club, visit the zoo’s website.
How to See Cornelius
Wild Things is located at 37245 Meridian Ave. in Dade City. Tickets to the zoo vary in price based on the level of access a visitor wants with the animals. Visit the zoo’s website for more details.
OK New Tampa residents, we want to hear your honest opinions here! Did you follow the Mystery Monkey story when Cornelius was on the run? Did you hope for his capture or cheer for him to keep getting away? What do you think about Wild Things being named his “retirement home?” Share your thoughts in the comments section.