DANVILLE, Pa. - A truck carrying about 100 monkeys was involved in a crash Friday in Pennsylvania, state police said.
Authorities say all monkeys have now been accounted for after approximately three went missing.
The truck carrying the animals crashed with a dump truck in the afternoon in Montour County, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Andrea Pelachick said.
The truck had been on its way to a lab, Pelachick said.
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 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.
Trooper Laura Lesher said state police secured the scene for the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The condition of the remaining monkeys weren’t clear Saturday.
The condition of the motorists also wasn’t clear, nor was it clear whether any citations were issued.
A crash witness, Michelle Fallon, told the Press Enterprise newspaper of Bloomsburg that she spoke with the pickup driver and a passenger after the crash. The driver appeared to be disoriented, and the passenger thought he might have injured his legs, she said.
Crates littered the road Friday as troopers searched for monkeys, rifles in hand. Valley Township firefighters used thermal imaging to try to locate the animals, and a helicopter also assisted, the Press Enterprise newspaper of Bloomsburg reported.
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.
She and another motorist who stopped to help were standing near the scene when the other driver said he thought he saw a cat run across the road, Fallon said.
Fallon peeked into a crate and saw a small monkey looking back at her, she told the newspaper.
"They’re monkeys," she told the other motorist.
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