One monkey remained on the loose Saturday in rural Pennsylvania after a few escaped following a crash Friday involving the vehicle carrying the primates, authorities said.
Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Andrea Pelachick confirmed the hunt for the escaped monkeys in Montour County’s Valley Township on Friday, but wasn’t able to say how many were initially loose.
“The vehicle involved was following a hundred monkeys, and when the crash occurred a handful of monkeys got out,” she said.
No injuries were reported.
Temperatures in Montour County plunged into the single digits Friday night as authorities searched for the monkeys.
Early Saturday, troopers said one monkey was still unaccounted for.
Authorities were instructed to secure the area for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pelachick said.
The shipment of monkeys was en route to a CDC-approved quarantine facility after arriving Friday morning at New Yorkâ€™s Kennedy Airport from Mauritius, the agency said.
The truck had been on its way to a lab, Pelachick told The Daily Item newspaper of Sunbury.
The location of the lab and the type of research for which the monkeys were destined werenâ€™t clear.
Asked if the missing monkeys had any health issues, the trooper said it wasn’t clear.
â€œWeâ€™re asking everyone to stay to stay away from the monkeys,â€ Pelachick said. â€œIf they see one, call 911 immediately and get away from the monkey.â€
The multi-vehicle crash closed Route 54 near Interstate 80 for about three hours, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Juliette Arcodia and The Associated Press contributed.