All 100 lab monkeys accounted for after four escape truck crash
Last of four lab monkeys that escaped when truck towing a trailer load of 100 macaques crashed on Pennsylvania highway are caught: Three others are euthanized
- The last of the escaped monkeys from the crash of a truck towing a trailer load of 100 of the animals was accounted for by late Saturday
- Three were dead after being euthanized
- One of the cynomolgus macaques, which are also known as crab-eating or long-tailed macaques, was found in a tree, and three shots were later heard
- Pennsylvania residents had been warned not to engage a crab-eating macaque that escaped from a truck carrying 100 monkeys to a lab on Friday
- Three more monkeys had escaped after the truck transporting them was hit by a dump truck have since been captured
- Crates with live monkeys inside were strewn across State Route 54 in Danville, 130 miles from Philadelphia, after the crash
- A witness said he thought he saw a cat run across the road before making the shocking realization that it was actually a fleeing primate
Published: 16:27, 22 January 2022 | Updated: 06:54, 23 January 2022
The last of the four escaped monkeys from the crash of a truck towing a trailer load of 100 of the animals have been accounted for by late Saturday, a day after the pickup collided with a dump truck on a Pennsylvania highway, authorities said.
Four monkeys had escaped following Friday’s collision, Pennsylvania State Police said.
But only one had remained unaccounted for as of Saturday morning, prompting the Pennsylvania Game Commission and other agencies to launch a search for it amid frigid weather.
Kristen Nordlund, a spokesperson with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an email Saturday evening that all 100 of the cynomolgus macaque monkeys had since been accounted for.
However, three of the escaped lab monkeys were dead after being euthanized.
The email did not elaborate on why the three were put down or how the last one was snared. But Nordlund said those euthanized were done so humanely according to American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines.
One of the cynomolgus macaques, which are also known as crab-eating or long-tailed macaques, was found in a tree, and three shots were later heard, WNEP reported.
The four monkeys had escaped after a truck transporting the 100 crab-eating macaques to a lab crashed on Friday.
State police had urged people not to look for or capture the cynomolgus macaque monkey following the crash on a State Route 54 near an Interstate 80 exit in Danville, about 130 miles from Philadelphia.
Pictured: the last of the four monkeys to be captured after the trailer they were in crashed into a dump truck on a Pennsylvania highway on Friday
One of the monkeys (pictured) was found in a tree, and three shots were later heard, WNEP reported
PETA noted that ‘records show that monkeys in laboratories in the US have been found with tuberculosis, Chagas disease, cholera and MRSA.’ The crab-eating macaque pictured is not one of the monkeys who went missing in Pennsylvania
Crates holding live monkeys are pictured scattered across the westbound lanes of state Route 54 on Friday at the junction with Interstate 80 near Danville, Pennsylvania
Crates holding live monkeys are collected next to the trailer they were being transported in along state Route 54 at the intersection with Interstate 80 near Danville, Pennsylvania on January 21 after a pickup pulling the trailer carrying the monkeys was hit by a dump truck
State police had urged people not to look for or capture the crab-eating macaque monkey following the crash on a a highway in Danville, about 130 miles from Philadelphia
‘Anyone who sees or locates the monkey is asked not to approach, attempt to catch, or come in contact with the monkey. Please call 911 immediately,’ troopers tweeted prior to locating the primates.
Trooper Lauren Lesher had said the concern was ‘due to it not being a domesticated animal and them being in an unknown territory.
It is hard to say how they would react to a human approaching them.’
The shipment of monkeys was en route to a CDC-approved quarantine facility after arriving Friday morning at New York’s Kennedy Airport from Mauritius, the agency said.
Crates littered the road Friday as troopers searched for the monkeys, rifles in hand.
Meanwhile, Valley Township firefighters used thermal imaging to locate the animals, and a helicopter also assisted, the Press Enterprise newspaper of Bloomsburg reported.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the agency provided ‘technical assistance’ to state police.
The truck had been on its way to a lab at the time of the crash, Trooper Andrea Pelachick told The Daily Item newspaper of Sunbury.
The location of the lab and the type of research for which the monkeys were destined weren’t clear, but the cynomolgus monkeys are often used in medical studies.
A 2015 paper posted on the website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information referred to them as the most widely used primate in preclinical toxicology studies.
Lesher said state police secured the scene for the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although macaque monkeys are cute, PETA reminded residents after the crash that ‘there is no way to ensure that monkeys are virus-free,’ noting that ‘records show that monkeys in laboratories in the US have been found with tuberculosis, Chagas disease, cholera and MRSA.’
PETA reminded residents after the crash that ‘there is no way to ensure that monkeys are virus-free.’ The monkey pictured is not the monkey missing in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Game Commission and other agencies used a helicopter to search for it amid frigid weather
Crates littered the road Friday as troopers searched for monkeys, rifles in hand.
Valley Township firefighters used thermal imaging to locate the animals, and a helicopter assisted
The monkey isn’t just dangerous, it’s expensive – crab-eating macaques can cost up to £10,000, according to The New York Times.
The monkeys, whose DNA is similar to that of humans, have been in high demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with some scientists calling for an emergency reserve of the test subjects similar to the country’s stockpiles of oil and grain.
A crash witness, Michelle Fallon, told the Press Enterprise newspaper of Bloomsburg that she spoke with the pickup driver and a passenger after the crash.
The driver appeared to be disoriented, and the passenger thought he might have injured his legs, she said.
The pickup was heading west on I-80 when it got off at the Danville exit and then immediately tried to get back on, driving across the other lane, the newspaper reported.
Fallon told the Press Enterprise that she was behind the pickup when it was hit on the passenger side by the dump truck, tearing off the front panel of the trailer and sending more than a dozen crates tumbling out.
She and another motorist who stopped to help were standing near the scene when the other driver said he thought he saw a cat run across the road, Fallon said.
Fallon peeked into a crate and saw a small monkey looking back at her, she told the newspaper.
‘They’re monkeys,’ she told the other motorist.
Jamie Labar, who was working the front desk of a nearby Super 8, said she initially thought it was a joke when someone told her of the accident.
Then, she began to worry about the animals weaving through traffic and braving the cold weather, which was expected to drop below zero on Friday night.
‘I hope somebody gets them out of the cold, whoever it is,’ she told the Times prior to their capture. ‘I want one, they are adorable.’
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