Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Another monkey sighting in Pinellas suggests he's headed north

ST. PETERSBURG — That wily Pinellas monkey is at it again and appears to be heading north.

This time, his flashy appearance on a pool deck left a terrified Coquina Key homeowner shuttered in her home for hours.

"I stayed inside all day," said Rosalie Broten, 59. "I didn't know what to do."

Broten, of 4401 Menhaden Drive SE, opened her back door Monday morning to take in the sweet spring smells of confederate jasmine and roses while brewing coffee.

But as soon as she opened the door, she saw the famed rhesus macaque sitting just 10 feet away. He whipped his head around and kept his body still as they stared at one another. Then he darted sideways, even faster than she expected.

"We made the eye contact," Broten said. "He has a very well-groomed face."

Broten said she called wildlife officials and warned her neighbors with little kids.

She was home alone for the 7:30 a.m. sighting and didn't let Rambeaux, her 6-pound Maltese-Pekingese mix, out of her sight.

Or Daisy, the 70-pound black Labrador, for that matter.

"I never saw anything like it in my life," she said, "and I'm a camper."

When her husband, Steve, 52, came home from work that night, they went outside and looked for any traces of a monkey visit. They found none and left a fruit and veggie feast of watermelon, tangerines and carrots.

The monkey didn't take the bait, and she hasn't seen him since. If only she had the camera Monday morning.

"I guess that's why they call him elusive," Broten said.

But leaving food for the monkey — or even inviting the monkey to approach you — is the worst choice someone could make, said Gary Morse, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Morse's exact reaction when he heard about the fruit plate: "Oh no."

"If you encourage them to come too close, the dangers rise and they are potentially deadly," he said.

He said the best thing to do is call the commission's wildlife alert hotline at (888)404-FWCC (or 3922). "If it's in a place where we think we can capture it, we will," Morse said.

People have reported monkey sightings for more than a year all over Pinellas County, even as far north as Oldsmar, he said. Morse really doubts more than one monkey is on the lam.

"Which ones are really the monkey and which ones aren't are to be debated," he said.

The last reported sighting was in the Pinellas Point area, a couple miles south of Coquina Key. Officials believe the monkey is from an established group in Silver Springs near Ocala, was picked on by larger monkeys and has been seeking a new group of monkey friends.

But Morse couldn't talk very long about the monkey and where it might be heading.

His agency is dealing with a bigger, more pressing threat: the oil spill in the Gulf.

Follow This Just In on Twitter.

Another monkey sighting in Pinellas suggests he's headed north 05/05/10 [Last modified: Thursday, May 6, 2010 7:46am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays relishing surprise status

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays on Friday played their first post-All-Star Game contest at Tropicana Field while holding a playoff spot since Sept. 23, 2013.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.