Three long-tailed macaques killed in US after surviving road crash

Long-tailed macaque holding her babies by their legs, animal news
Long-tailed macaque with her babies, photo: nvelichko via Canva

Three long-tailed macaques, who escaped from a truck when it crashed on its way to a laboratory, have been found and killed in the United States.

The truck carrying 100 monkeys to a laboratory in Florida crashed on Friday. Three animals managed to escape. Police said on Saturday that they had found the animals.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told local news site WNEP that the escaped monkeys, who were originally from Mauritius, were killed.

In December, European animal rights groups called for an end of the trade in long-tailed macaques from Mauritius for research. The animals are often caught in the wild, stolen from their families, animal welfare group Action for Primates said.

They are then sent overseas or held in one of the eight breeding farms in Mauritius. When the monkeys are sent overseas, they’re packed into small transit crates and transported as cargo by air.

WNEP said a police helicopter with thermal cameras was used to find the long-tailed macaques, while officers on the ground used powerful flashlights.

Pennsylvania State Police released an image of one primate looking extremely scared in a tree off Route 54. “Let me first say I can’t believe animal testing is still a thing. Second, these animals shouldn’t be euthanatized, they should’ve been placed in a sanctuary,” a person commented on the picture on Twitter.

In the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries, long-tailed macaques are often used to test toxicity. Animals are restrained and injected with chemicals directly into their blood or through a tube directly into their stomachs during these tests.

Monkeys who are given chemicals react the same way humans do; they vomit, get difficulty breathing, seizures, skin problems, weight loss, internal bleeding and organ failure. If animals don’t die from the illnesses they get from the tests, they are killed after the tests.

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