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St. Petersburg's mystery monkey swings into pool cage, falls in pool, escapes

Renée Barth took a photo upon discovering a large monkey in her pool cage in the Tropical Shores neighborhood on Sunday.

Renée Barth took a photo upon discovering a large monkey in her pool cage in the Tropical Shores neighborhood on Sunday.

ST. PETERSBURG — Renée Barth spotted what she thought was a large dog walk by the sliding glass doors in her back yard around noon Sunday.

But when the creature sidled through an open screen door and swung onto a tree in the pool enclosure, she realized she was staring at a monkey.

"It was crazy," said Barth, 40, who lives in the Tropical Shores neighborhood in southeastern St. Petersburg. "It was exciting."

Barth said the monkey "freaked out" a bit before he found his way out of the enclosure, banging the screen and even falling into the pool. Long after the monkey was gone, Barth checked other parts of her property. Some grapefruits were missing.

Wildlife officials have been searching for an elusive monkey that's been in the Tampa Bay area for more than a year. Anyone who sees it can call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's toll-free hotline at 1-888-404-3922.

St. Petersburg's mystery monkey swings into pool cage, falls in pool, escapes 03/21/10 [Last modified: Monday, March 22, 2010 1:59pm]

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