Local authorities are searching for at least three monkeys that may have escaped from a truck carrying about 100 monkeys in the US after it was involved in a collision.
Following the crash in Montour county near an Interstate 80 exit on a state highway on Friday afternoon, troopers warned people not to look for or capture the cynomolgus monkey.
State Police Trooper Andrea Pelachick told local newspaper The Daily Item that a garbage truck and a truck carrying the monkeys collided in Montour County, Pennsylvania.
In the aftermath of the truck collision, several monkeys escaped but, as of Saturday morning, only one monkey remained unaccounted for. State agencies were searching in freezing temperatures.
Ms. Pelachick said that the truck was on its way to a lab.
Although it wasn't clear where the lab was located or what type of research the monkeys were supposed to be used for, cynomolgus monkeys are often used for medical research.
Troopers carrying rifles searched for monkeys among the littered crates on the road. Residents of Montour Country joined police in searching nearby woods for the monkeys.
There is an investigation underway into the accident.
Several agencies have been called in to assist with the investigation, including the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the CDC.
NBC News reported that Ms. Pelachick was unaware whether the missing lab monkeys were ill.
Research on human illnesses, including Coronavirus, often uses monkeys to produce treatments and vaccines.
Several forms of primate illnesses, including malaria and herpes, have been found to be transmissible to humans.
Police have asked anyone who sees a monkey to keep their distance and call the authorities.
As temperatures dropped to single digits, WNEP news reported that police used a helicopter to track the monkeys.
There were no reports of injuries.