Wedding bells could soon ring as zoo finds female companion for Tampa Bay Mystery Monkey

DADE CITY, Fla. - The vagabond days of Tampa Bay Mystery Monkey Cornelius ended in October 2012 and he has spent his time alone in a cage at Dade City Wild Things zoo since then, but wedding bells could be near for the internationally famous Rhesus macaque.

Chrissy, a female Rhesus macaque believed to be near the same age of Cornelius, has arrived at Dade City Wild Things, according to zoo Director Kathy Stearns.

She is currently in quarantine at the zoo as a veterinarian waits for blood test results to determine if she has any health issues.

Stearns said that Chrissy comes from a private entity that wished to remain anonymous and she was selected because she matches Cornelius' laid-back temperament.

"It's like putting a man and woman together. You better make sure they get along!" she said with a laugh.

Chrissy is not on display at the zoo as of now, because the veterinarian wants her "off exhibit" while in quarantine. Stearns said Chrissy could join Cornelius sometime this month, depending on test results.

Chrissy will be a companion for the formerly lone-traveling Cornelius, but it remains to be seen if they will take to each other and try to mate.

"I hope they do mate. I'm kind of planning a wedding ceremony, you know?" Stearns said. "Definitely they are going to try to mate. Even if we try to physiologically stop them from mating, they'll still try to mate."

The monkey had successfully eluded Florida Fish and Wildlife officials and trappers in a St. Petersburg neighborhood for years.

Cornelius was dubbed the "Tampa Bay Mystery Monkey" while at large, because of his elusiveness, and a Facebook page had more than 86,000 likes at the height of his escapades.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments