Less than a week after losing their cherished Beanie Baby, Bongo, a grief-stricken NYC couple has been reunited with their beloved toy monkey. Bonni Marcus and Jack Zinzi gained a fair bit of press for themselves when they plastered the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope with posters offering a $500 cash reward for the safe return of the plush doll, which they had raised like a son for over 10 years.

As it happened, Luis Barreto, the 61-year-old, unemployed Brooklyn resident who found Bongo, never noticed the posters. Instead, he became aware of Marcus and Zinzi’s plight when they approached him and a group of men this past weekend as they continued to case the neighborhood where Bongo had been lost. Once Barreto connected the dots, he found it difficult to part with Bongo, even with the cash reward.

“I fell in love with Bongo and wanted to keep him,” Barreto told the New York Post. “He looked real to me and is cute.”

Fortunately for Bongo’s owners, Mr. Barreto did return the Beanie Baby, after “being promised he could visit the doll.” He collected his reward amidst a celebration at El Gran Castillo de Jagua, the same restaurant the couple had visited on the night of Bongo’s disappearance. Marcus told the Post that Bongo will be happily reunited with “suffering” siblings Doe, Ray and Me.

[via NY Post]