US: Monkeys missing after truck carrying them crashes in Pennsylvania, search underway

A truck carrying 100 monkeys collided with a dump truck on Pennsylvania Highway in the United States on Friday, 21 January. Four monkeys have escaped from the spot and have gone missing. The accident occurred around 3:20 pm (local time) on Friday on Route 54 off Interstate 80 in Montour County, about 150 miles northwest of Philadelphia, The New York Times reported.  

The authorities had closed Route 54 in both directions, however, later the road was reopened, reported Fox59 News. The cynomolgus monkeys, which are often used in scientific research, were being taken to a lab in Florida. No one was injured in the accident and the police officials and the state wildlife officials have started searching the monkeys, as per the news report.

Trooper Lauren Lesher, a State Police spokeswoman, told The New York Times State Police that helicopter had been placed on standby, however, it was not deployed for an aerial search.

Police confirm monkeys escaping from the spot 

Troopers Andrea Pelachick and Lauren Lesher took to the official Twitter handle and confirmed the small number of monkeys escaping from the crash site. Troopers urged the people that if they spot the monkeys, they must keep their distance and call the police on 911. Furthermore, the troopers stated that the health and safety of people remain their top priority. 

Crash update: A small number of monkeys may have fled the crash scene into the surrounding area.

If the public spots one, please keep your distance and call 911 immediately. Health and safety of residents and visitors is our top priority.

-- Troopers Andrea Pelachick & Lauren Lesher (@PSPTroopFPIO) January 22, 2022

As the officials continued the search operation for monkeys, two of the monkeys have been located, however, they have not been captured yet., as per The New York Times report. Trooper Lauren Lesher further added that the other two monkeys have not been located by the authorities. She informed that they have decided to bring the animal specialists who can safely capture the monkeys.

As per the news report, the demand for Cynomolgus monkeys had increased for COVID-19 vaccine research at the beginning of the pandemic. 

Image: AP