Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 16th, 2009
What was the “something” in the trees above 3001 E. Elm St. in Tampa, Florida, just south of Sligh Avenue, west of the Hillsborough River, photographed about five days ago.
Various theories have been put forth. Official thoughts said it was a monkey, then some figured it was a large raccoon, but finally authorities told the media it was believed to be a macaque.
“An officer [of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission] went up into the tree to get a better look at it,” a commission spokesman said.
“It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack,” he said. “If somebody calls us, we’ll go out and try to dart it.”
But they weren’t able to get close.
If it is a macaque, the officers said they have no idea from where it came. It might be an escapee. There’s a breeding population of rhesus macaques living in the semi-rainforest of the Silver Springs area, near Ocala; officers didn’t know if there is a connection, they told the Tampa Tribune.
No one has filed a missing monkey report. (A permit is required in order to have a monkey.)
Lowry Park Zoo officials said the animal wasn’t from their facility.
“All of ours are accounted for,” zoo spokeswoman Rachel Nelson said on November 11th.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has since given up the search for the mystery animal.
But the photo remains.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.