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Bongo the monkey safe, 'parents' relieved

The power of prayer proves itself after an Upper East Side couple is reunited with an irreplaceable part of their family. No, it wasn't a child. No, it wasn't even a "pet" by most people's standards... but that didn't stop the couple from offering a hefty reward for the safe return of Bongo.

Bongo, a mild-mannered monkey with a curly tail and a twinkle in his beady little eye, is back home with his rightful owners. He went missing on August 1, but was returned to Bonni Marcus, 47, and her boyfriend, Jack Zinzi, 58, after the Upper East Side couple posted a $500 reward for the safe return of their monkey, the New York Post reports.

Oh, this is where we tell you Bongo is a Beanie Baby.

That's right, Marcus and Zinzi were so distraught after misplacing their beloved Bongo on the way to a Park Slope restaurant, that the couple posted "missing" signs and combed the neighborhood where the monkey was last seen.

As fate would have it, Zinzi actually approached the man who happened to find Bongo last Tuesday to ask if he or his friends had spotted an 8-inch bean-filled primate.

Luis Barreto had, indeed, found Bongo perched atop a parking meter. Proving that he is just as bananas as Marcus and Zinzi, he couldn't resist Bongo's little monkey face and took him home.

"I fell in love with Bongo and wanted to keep him," Barreto said. "He looked real to me and is cute."

It's unclear whether or not he has ever seen an actual monkey.

Alas, Barreto handed Bongo back over to his "parents" after he was promised visitation rights. First, though, the couple had to examine Bongo for some distinct markings to make sure he was, in fact, their monkey. After finding a "burn scar" that had been the result of an unfortunate cigar accident (PETA is NOT going to be happy about that one), they knew they had found their baby.

"I never gave up hope — I prayed, mediated, and now he’s with us again," said Marcus.

Hear that, kids? Dreams do come true.

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