(Photo by Don McBride)

The Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay, a rhesus macaque on the run for more than a year, popped up in the Pinellas Point neighborhood on Labor Day and was photographed admiring himself in a mirror.  The St. Petersburg Times speculated that, with no fellow macaques on the run with him, he has become lonely.

Florida’s Mystery Monkey — no one is sure where it came from — has become an international celebrity.  It has more than 80,500 friends on Facebook in America.  A recent entry on his behalf:  “Enjoyed all of the fan fare today over the picture in the paper of me admiring my great looks but why print the exact address of where the picture was taken? Are you trying to get me caught? Snitches get stitches!”  Now, there’s also a Korean Facebook page devoted to him.

Dr. Agustín Fuentes, a University of Notre Dame anthropology professor who studies monkeys that live in cities, told the Times that Mystery Monkey looked extremely healthy.

More Southern oddities and entitites:

In other animal news: To try to keep black bears out of neighborhoods, the city of Black Mountain, North Carolina, is studying an ordinance that would prohibit residents from putting their trash containers on the curb earlier than 5 p.m. the day before pickup, but one alderman says that’s not good enough, since bears would have all night to get at the trash … Police in Sumiton, Alabama, were hunting for a “python-like” snake described as “extremely aggressive” …  In North Carolina, a barred owl reportedly has attacked at least two people on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s Bolin Creek Trail … In Tampa, Florida, a passer-by pulled a cat that had been shot by more than 30 pellets and put in a carrier marked “Kitty Penitentiary” from McKay Bay … A dog stolen from a yard in Michigan seven years ago showed up recently at the Estill County Animal Shelter in Kentucky.

And in stupid human tricks: A man who left a live 40 mm grenade in the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Montgomery, Alabama, came forward to police after seeing a surveillance video of him and a companion on the TV news.  He told police they were just trying to get rid of the grenade and had no idea the action would bring out the Montgomery Police Bomb Squad.

Cookie dough dispute: The Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida has filed a lawsuit against five South Florida Girl Scout troop leaders accusing them of failing to fork over thousands of dollars earned in cookie sales.

Check out our News and Opinion Feeds for a lot more Southern happenings.

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Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor was born and raised in Georgia and worked more than 40 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor and as an online producer for ajc.com and AccessAtlanta. He served for a time as the newspaper's regional editor, overseeing coverage of the South. He is co-author, with Dr. Leonard Ray Teel, of Into the Newsroom:  An Introduction to Journalism and has conducted workshops in the Middle East on feature writing.