A truck carrying 100 monkeys collided with a dump truck on Friday afternoon, causing at least three monkeys to initially escape into Montour County, Pennsylvania.
The cynomolgus monkeys, worth $10,000 each, were on their way to a lab in Florida when the crash happened at about 3:20 p.m., 150 miles north of Philadelphia, reported The New York Times. No one was hurt, but troopers and state wildlife officials responded as the search for the monkeys intensified into the evening hours and temperatures dropped below freezing.
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. https://t.co/60G8j4KN3J
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 22, 2022
As of Saturday morning, all but one of the escaped monkeys had been found. Pennsylvania State Troopers Andrea Pelachick and Lauren Lesher asked that no one “attempt to look for or capture the animal,” tweeting that anyone who does locate the missing monkey “call 911 immediately.”
Cynomolgus monkeys are best known for being the first preclinical test animal for the development of the polio vaccine, according to the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. Since the COVID outbreak, cynomolgus monkeys have been in high demand as scientists use them to test coronavirus vaccines before they are tested on humans, reported the New York Times. The shortage has led a growing number of American scientists to call on the government to ensure a constant supply of the animals.
Three monkeys were recovered Saturday and eventually euthanized after officials determined there were potential health risks, according to NBC News.