Monkeys escape after truck crash on Pennsylvania highway

Jamie Labar was working the front desk of a Super 8 hotel in Montour County, Pennsylvania on Friday when she learned there had been an a...


Jamie Labar was working the front desk of a Super 8 hotel in Montour County, Pennsylvania on Friday when she learned there had been an accident on the nearby freeway.

“I thought it was just another car accident because there are always accidents out there,” she said.

But it wasn’t just another accident. Pennsylvania State Police said a pickup truck with an enclosed trailer filled with 100 monkeys collided with a dump truck and four of the monkeys escaped.

The cynomolgus monkeys, which are often used in scientific research and can cost up to $10,000 each, were on their way to a lab in Florida when the accident happened around 3:20 p.m. on Highway 54 near the ‘Interstate 80 in Montour County, about 150 miles northwest of Philadelphia, state police said.

No one was hurt, but troopers and state wildlife officials responded as the search for the monkeys intensified in the evening. A state police helicopter was also put on standby but not deployed for aerial reconnaissance, said Private Lauren Lesher, a state police spokeswoman.

Saturday morning, only one monkey was missing, according to state troopers.

“Anyone who sees or locates the monkey is asked not to approach, attempt to grab or come into contact with the monkey,” they said on Twitter.

Cynomolgus monkeys were in such high demand for coronavirus vaccine research early in the pandemic that some scientists were talking about the need to create a strategic ape reserve, an emergency stock similar to those maintained by the US government for oil and grain.

With their reddish-brown coats and whiskered pink faces, monkeys, also known as crab-eating macaques or long-tailed macaques, are known to use their hands to grab food from burrows and can live for up to 30 years. in captivity, according to the National Primate Research Center of Wisconsin.

Ms Labar said when her friend told her the monkeys had escaped after the accident, she assumed it was a joke. Then she started to worry, she said, at the thought of the monkeys scampering through traffic and trying to stay warm.

Temperatures in Montour County were expected to plunge to close to zero Friday night.

“Hopefully someone gets them out of the cold, whoever it is,” Ms Labar said. Maybe, she said, someone could be her.

“I want one,” Ms. Labar said. “They are adorable.”

Maria Cramer contributed reporting.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Monkeys escape after truck crash on Pennsylvania highway
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