A concerned neighbor in a Florida neighborhood recently had to call 911 to report something quite strange: a monkey was eating mail out of a neighbor’s mailbox.
While the Sanford Police Department is used to responding to animal calls, including alligators, snakes and bears, even they admitted that the call about the monkey was a bit “out of the ordinary.”
“Our officers are ready for anything — literally,” Public Information Officer Shannon Cordingly told CBS News.
The mischievous monkey, identified as Zeek, was spotted sitting on top of a mailbox in a Hidden Lakes subdivision. While this site alone would seem unusual, Zeek was also eating the mail. Realizing Zeek probably shouldn’t have been there, the neighbor decided to dial 911 to alert them to the monkey’s whereabouts.
According to the Sanford Police Department’s Facebook page, they were called to the scene shortly after 8:00 p.m. Because they were unsure of whether or not the monkey would be aggressive, the officers brought with them members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a precaution.
“Shortly after 8:00 a.m., we received a call from a Sanford resident that lives in the Hidden Lakes subdivision reporting that a monkey was eating mail out of a mailbox. When we arrived to help the monkey, later identified at Zeek, decided to pull off molding from one of our patrol cars. We were able to distract Zeek with a bottle of water until his owner came and retrieved him.”
The officers used their patrol car to block off the subdivision, and then tried to lure Zeek away from the mailbox with a bottle of water. Although the tactic worked, it also led Zeek near the car, where he then proceeded to pull off the molding.
Not long after, the monkey’s owner arrived at the scene. The owner had a proper permit to own Zeek, and was able to eventually coax Zeek back to him.
“Our officers respond to some pretty serious, sad and horrific calls,” Cordingly said. “It’s nice to be able to respond to something of this nature, a little more lighthearted and have a happy ending.”
One of the officers, a female lieutenant and lover of animals, decided to take a selfie with the monkey. The Sanford Police Department later posted the selfie, along with a couple videos and several photos of Zeek on their Facebook page.
“For all people to respond to the call to coax the monkey — it was definitely her,” Cordingly said.
Luckily, this story had a happy ending. No one was injured and Zeek was returned to his owner, making for a great way to start off the week. Many social media users responded to the police department’s post, cracking jokes about the monkey.
“Cops got me over here sittin’ on the curb, just sipping my water, waiting on my parents to pick me up…again,” Mishelle Lynn wrote.
“Try explaining that one!! A monkey ate the bill!! Honest!” Kim Beers added.
However, there were several comments suggesting that Zeek should not be kept as a pet, and should be living in a wildlife sanctuary.
“Monkeys should not be allowed to be kept as pets. Monkeys don’t belong in cages,” Karen Lund wrote.
“Awww man, he belongs in a wildlife sanctuary, not as a pet. Poor guy. Still, great work SPD! Thank you for NOT tranquilizing the poor guy!” T.J. Sanford added.
What do you think about the monkey eating the mail? What would you have done if you saw a monkey sitting on your mailbox? Leave your comments below.
[Photos via Sanford Police Department’s Facebook page]