Four crab-eating macaques took advantage of a collision of the truck transporting them with another vehicle to flee Friday afternoon in the state of Pennsylvania.
A truck carrying about 100 monkeys was involved in a crash in Pennsylvania, state police said.
Authorities were searching for at least three of the monkeys that appeared to have escaped the vehicle.
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 22, 2022
The truck carrying around 100 of these monkeys to a laboratory in Florida hit a garbage truck near the small town of Danville, in the center of this northeastern United States state.
Four monkeys "escaped from the scene of the accident and disappeared in the vicinity", tweeted the local police, who called on the population not to approach the animals.
According to local channel WNEP, a police helicopter equipped with thermal cameras helped locate the macaques during searches carried out in the middle of the night in freezing cold.
A trailer carrying 100 monkeys collided with a dump truck this afternoon just off I-80 near Danville.
According to state police, four of those monkeys got loose.
The PA Game Commission is looking for the monkeys.
— WNEP (@WNEP) January 21, 2022
Three crab-eating macaques, which can weigh up to 6 kg, were then captured, but the fourth was still on the loose on Saturday morning.
"Update on the accident: there is still a monkey missing, we ask that no one tries to see or capture the animal," police added on Saturday.
Pennsylvania police released a photo showing a monkey perched in a tree, dazzled by a flashlight.
According to WNEP, police surrounded the animal and then shots were heard.
The fate of the recovered animals was not known on Saturday.
The vehicle carrying an estimated 100 monkeys was involved in a crash and the monkeys escaped, a state trooper says.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 22, 2022
“We ask everyone to stay away from the monkeys.
If you see one, call 911 immediately and stay away from the monkey,” Pennsylvania police officer Andrea Pelachick told CBS News, which says police have not clarified whether the animals could transmit diseases. .
Monkeys are known to transmit diseases, including monkey pox and the herpes B virus, which is believed to have infected its first human last year, the US media notes.
The price of a crab-eating macaque, also called a long-tailed macaque, can reach $10,000.
These very common monkeys in Southeast Asia have been widely used in research on Covid vaccines, according to the New York Times.
They can live 30 years in captivity.