Wandering Florida monkey raids bird feeder

April 12, 2010 at 1:48 PM

TAMPA BAY, Fla., April 12 (UPI) -- A monkey that has been loose in Florida's Tampa Bay area for more than a year was videotaped raiding a bird feeder for fistfuls of seed.

Rick Coffey of St. Petersburg said he initially thought the animal in his back yard Saturday was a cat, but he soon realized it was a monkey and videotaped it scooping bird seed out of the feeder and feasting on the pilfered food, the St. Petersburg Times reported Monday.

The monkey, which wildlife officials said is believed to be a young male rhesus macaque, has been the target of a hunt by authorities for more than a year. The origins of the animal are unknown, but investigators said it may have been an abandoned pet or it may have split from a group of wild monkeys in a state park near Ocala, Fla.

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