Mummified monkey mystery mesmerises Minneapolis

A mummified monkey has been found in the ceiling of a department store in Minneapolis.

The remains were found on the seventh floor during a renovation of a department store. A photo of it, taken by one of the workers, was supplied to the Old Minneapolis Facebook page.

The mummified monkey.
The mummified monkey. Photo credit: Old Minneapolis/Facebook

"Does anyone know how a monkey would have ended up in the rafters of an urban department store and remain there undisturbed for probably decades?" page owner Adam Freed asked followers.

Turns out, someone did - Mark Dayton, the Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton. His great-grandfather built the store, and he was employed there as a young man the late 1960s, reports the Washington Post.

In 1968 the store devoted an entire level to a rainforest display, with real monkeys and birds.

"Somebody didn't figure out that the monkeys were carnivores," Mr Dayton said at a news conference.

"Then workers tried to separate the monkeys from the birds with new netting. They said one monkey got out and went into the air duct."

Another person on Facebook backed up his story, saying a longtime employee once told him about a monkey which escaped into the building's air ducts in the 1960s.

"The guy told me that this took place sometime back in the '60s, over the weekend, because when they found the cage empty on Monday they knew something was up.

"They finally determined that the monkey had escaped in the air conditioning duct work."

Another theory however is that two men once stole a monkey, but secretly returned it when it "wouldn’t stop pooping" everywhere.

"This is probably that monkey," said Regan Murphy, son of one of the alleged monkey thieves.