Residents had been warned Saturday not to approach a monkey that was missing after the crash on Continental Boulevard near the exit for Interstate 80 in Valley Township, involving a pickup that was towing a trailer taking about 100 of the animals to a lab. But late Saturday, police said all the monkeys were accounted for.
Some monkeys escaped after the collision between the pickup and a dump truck. State police said three of them had to be found, and one in particular took several hours to find.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the agency was providing “technical assistance” to state police. 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.
The truck had been on its way to a lab, Trooper Andrea Pelachick told The Daily Item of Sunbury.
The location of the lab and the type of research for which the monkeys were destined weren’t clear, but 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.
A passenger in one of the vehicles reportedly suffered a minor injury and was transported to a medical facility. One of the drivers refused transport, state police 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.
Fallon peeked into a crate and saw a small monkey looking back at her, she told the newspaper.