Cornelius the mystery monkey to be moved to a new home in Pasco County

DADE CITY - When the mystery monkey was finally caught a little more than a month ago, the question immediately became: What will become of him?

Since then, he's been spending his time in quarantine.  But in the next few days, Cornelius will be moved to Dade City's Wild Things.

"We have over 200 animals from Siberian to Bengal tigers, jaguars, lions, bears, otters, zebra, buffalo, all types of animals. And of course the famous mystery monkey, Cornelius," said Kathy Stearns of Dade City's Wild Things.

A sprawling tract in Pasco county, Wild Things is both well-manicured and full of lush vegetation. There are also several types of macaque monkeys that live there.  The larger snow macaque, and the rhesus macaque, which is the same species as Cornelius.

Although his enclosure is being kept under wraps until he moves in, he won't be anywhere near the other monkeys.  Cornelius will be located back beneath a huge grove of trees behind an open field enjoying a full canopy of shade.  Visitors will be taken by tram to visit the famous primate.

"It's kind of secluded from other monkeys.  But that's our goal, is by our fan club raising the funds to build him a really nice cage and then we'll be putting the females in with him at that time," explained Stearns.

Coco, another rhesus macaque already on site, is the most likely candidate to initially be placed with Cornelius; who already has his own fan club set up at Wild Things.  

And on the Facebook page honoring the mystery monkey of Tampa Bay, Cornelius writes of his new home, "they have promised me way more than three hots and a cot.'  He urges those who come to see him, "Don't forget to sneak in a banana daiquiri or two for me."

Once living life on the run, Cornelius will finally have a place to call home. 

Print this article Back to Top

Comments