Three laboratory monkeys who had taken advantage of a road accident to escape from the truck transporting them to the Northeast of the United States were found and euthanized on Saturday, local authorities announced.
The truck carrying around 100 crab-eating macaques collided with a garbage truck on Friday afternoon near the small town of Danville in central Pennsylvania.
Several monkeys “escaped from the scene of the accident and disappeared in the vicinity”, had tweeted the local police, calling on the population not to approach the animals.
On Saturday evening, the police announced that the 100 monkeys had been found. But local media, citing US health authorities, said three of them had to be euthanized.
Local authorities have not explained why the animals were killed.
On Saturday morning, Pennsylvania police released a photo showing a monkey perched in a tree, dazzled by a flashlight. According to the WNEP television channel, the police surrounded the animal and then shots were heard.
The price of a crab-eating macaque, also called a long-tailed macaque, can reach $10,000. These very common monkeys in Southeast Asia have been widely used in COVID vaccine research, according to The New York Times. They can live 30 years in captivity.