Yangon cheers cheeky monkey who outwitted authorities from lockdown

Photo: Zawwin Tun / Facebook
Photo: Zawwin Tun / Facebook

A fugitive simian is back behind bars after leading officials on a five-day chase across Yangon.

An official from the Yangon Zoo yesterday told Coconuts Yangon that the monkey, whose devil-may-care attitude and anti-authoritarian streak have made him an online folk hero, was finally caught after many near misses.

“He was captured yesterday afternoon,” said the zoo worker who would not divulge his name. “He wasn’t from our zoo. Someone might have adopted him and set him free. We have to keep him for now until his owner comes for him.”

In recent days, monkey sightings were reported in several townships. On Friday, he was cruising around 94th Street and the Thein Gone Monastery in Mingalar Taung Nyunt township. Residents and firefighters called the zoo, but he evaded capture.

On Saturday, he was spotted again in the neighborhoods of Botahtaung, next to Mingalar Taung Nyunt, and fled successfully again. The residents called officials to nab him, but the monkey tricked them by using his natural gifts to jump between high and low ground before running away again.

“On November 1, we got another report of the monkey near Than Lyat Soon, but he wasn’t there when we arrived. We are doing all our best to find his exact location now,” a resolute zoo official said the next day.

According to the zoo’s report, the male monkey wasn’t one of theirs as it only has female and baby monkeys right now.

His freedom and free reign over pandemic-ravaged Yangon was celebrated online.

“There’s COVID-19, and there’s an election. And now there’s you!” Facebooker Chan Myae Aung wrote in the Love Yangon group.

“There he is, a monkey … on the loose, visiting 94th street!” Zawwin Tun posted along with photos of him atop a building.

“He’s on the way to vote!” someone else speculated.


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