ST. PETERSBURG -- Elizabeth Fowler watched as a tranquilizer dart punctured the monkeys torso.
He stumbled across a creek and crawled up a low branch, where he swayed as the chemicals coaxed him into slumber.
Wildlife rescuers carried the monkey out of the woods and stowed him in a cage.
The Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bays nearly four-year run from wildlife officials was over Wednesday afternoon.
Three weeks earlier, Fowler had been bitten by the monkey, which prompted wildlife officials to intensify their search.
Fowler knew the monkey had to be caught. But like many neighbors, she had grown fond of him, and she was sad to see him go.
"I feel kind of guilty," Fowler, 60, said through tears.
The monkeys future is unclear. He was placed in quarantine Wednesday evening. If his health checks out, he could be sent to a sanctuary to be with other monkeys.
But the question remains: After thriving among humans for years, can he get along with his own kind?
The trappers arrived at Fowlers house near Lake Maggiore about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
They placed bananas in and around the cage that wildlife rescuer Vernon Yates had installed weeks ago to catch the monkey.
But the monkey never came. He watched them from a nearby roof.
About noon, Shannon Fowler, Elizabeths daughter, arrived. She stood outside, waved a banana and made smooching sounds.
The monkey emerged from the woods and perched on a branch. He scampered toward the trap.
From inside the home through a sliding glass door, veterinarian Don Woodman pointed a dart rifle at the monkey and fired.
The dart hit the monkey. He crawled into the woods and pulled it out. Woodman and Yates gave chase and grabbed him with a catch pole. They shot him with a second dart.
Within a minute, the monkey was unconscious.
"It was nice to have done the job and done it well and done it smoothly," Woodman said.
Yates carried the 45-pound rhesus macaque out of the woods. Members of the Fowler family stroked the monkeys fur and said goodbye.
"Its not a joy," Shannon Fowler said. "Its bittersweet."
For more than a year, the monkey has watched the Fowlers through windows. He playfully swatted the family dog. He chased the kids across the lawn.
But the monkeys stay took a dark turn when he bit Elizabeth. Since then, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials have been on the lookout for him.
After the capture, Woodman and Yates gave the Mystery Monkey a new name: Cornelius, after a character in Planet of the Apes.
Late Wednesday afternoon, an unconscious Cornelius was sprawled inside a cage in the back of a car parked outside the Animal Hospital of Northwood in Safety Harbor.
Cornelius lay on his side, his chest heaving to a halting rhythm. His face was buried beneath a towel and several unopened bananas. His tiny hand lay loose and upturned by his side, like that of a sleeping baby.
Woodman, owner and veterinarian at the animal hospital, said Cornelius is in good physical health and, notably, free of fleas despite his sojourn in the wild.
"Clearly, hes grooming himself well," Woodman said.
Cornelius had minor abrasions from the dart wounds, but otherwise was unharmed.
But the monkey is overweight, Woodman said, attributing the extra pounds to junk food he was fed by humans.
"Hes been well-fed in the sense that hes been getting a lot of calories, but not well fed in that he hasnt been eating a balanced diet," Woodman said.