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Mummified Monkey Found During Department Store Renovation in Minneapolis (PHOTO)

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A mummified monkey was recently discovered in an air duct during the renovation of a former Dayton's department store in Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.

"We continue to find pieces of history in The Dayton's Project as we redevelop the building," Dayton's Project spokesperson Cailin Rogers wrote in an Tuesday email to KSTP. The Dayton's Project is a renovation converting Dayton into office and retail property. 

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"We don't know a lot about this monkey, but I can say that there was a monkey found during renovation. We continue to find a lot of pieces of history like this in The Dayton's Project as we redevelop the building. Unfortunately, this was one of the recent discoveries," Rogers added.

Demolition worker Adam Peterson first submitted a photo of the money to the "Old Minneapolis" Facebook group. According to a Sunday post on the group's page, "Old Minneapolitan Adam Peterson is working on the rehab and shared this amazing photo with us showing the perished primate — which revealed itself in a ceiling during the renovation."

Longtime customers have flooded the post with theories about how the monkey got there in the first place.

"Dayton's used to have a pet store on the 8th floor near the toy section. As a maybe six-year-old I leaned in a little too close to the cage of a Rhesus monkey and he/she grabbed my hair," Facebook user Thomas Cornell commented.

"It truly is amazing the treasures found in old buildings. When I was young we went to Dayton's Department Store for a circus on the top floor. There were many animals, including an elephant. If memory serves there were also monkeys. I wonder if one of the monkeys got lost in the rafters and died there to be found so many years later," John Michael Burke wrote.

"I used to work for Target on the ninth floor of the Dayton's building back in 2000-2. 

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There was a guy who worked for Dayton's for over 50 years. He told me about the monkey that had escaped from the eighth floor pet store. Yes it was indeed on the eighth floor because I remember shopping there in my youth. 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," Steven Laboe wrote.

"They finally determined that the monkey had escaped in the air conditioning duct work. Someone complained about a horrible odor a few hours later and (as he explained it to me) the monkey tried to make a jump for it but managed to get caught up in one of the exhaust fan blades," he added.

Even Minneapolis Mayor Regan Murphy had his own theory on the monkey mystery.

"My dad once stole a monkey from a Dayton's display back in the 60s. They decided to bring it back after it shat all over my Dad's friend's bedroom while they were at school. They returned it by letting it loose in the store. This is probably that monkey," he tweeted April 10.

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