Lakewood Business Park in Bradenton, Florida, is home to a number of professionally minded tenants, like a realtors office, a custom gift-basket shop, a plumbing repair service, and an aluminum products supplier -- but it's one South American primate's brazen monkey business that has really got people talking.
Over the last six months, business owners had begun to sense that a mysterious mischief-maker was afoot at the otherwise strictly-professional office park. It seems someone or something was sneaking into commercial spaces, rearranging objects, stealing snacks, and leaving a trail of empty food wrappers in its wake -- particularly from Pop Tarts.While some thought that the complex might be haunted, the furry truth behind the phantom was soon revealed. Lakewood Business Park manager Linda Lamp was reviewing surveillance footage from cameras she installed to catch trespassers when she spotted something she couldn't quite believe: a capuchin monkey plundering the park's dumpsters.
According to the Bradenton Patch, no one else at the park could quite believe their office park was inhabited by a monkey native to South America:
First she wrote to the owners of the business park.
"We have a monkey in the business park," she wrote.
The reply: "I don't believe you."
Lamp wrote back: "I don't believe it and I have the video."
"I want to see it," one of the owners replied.
Linda Craig, the director of an organization that collects food to send to vets overseas, says her office was frequently pillaged, but she thought it might be a ghost. As it turns out, however, the pint-size monkey was probably just small enough to squeeze through the opening of the mail slot to have at an easy meal.
No one is really sure where the monkey came from, but surprisingly folks at the business park have reacted rather enthusiastically to their new mischief making counterpart and have even begun leaving food out for him in an attempt to curb his marauding modus operandi.
Even though wildlife officials warn that if one monkey is allowed to stay in the complex it could soon give rise to others, Lamp says she has no plans to involve law enforcement since none of the business owners there seem to mind.
"There's no reason to trap him, he's not accosting anyone," says Lamp. "Just because he's showing a bad address is no reason to trap him."