It sounds like every sci-fi virus film ever made.
Michele Fallon was driving near Danville, Penn., last Friday when she saw two trucks collide. Boxes littered the road. She stopped to help.
Onlookers believed the boxes were full of cats. Fallon had no idea they contained 100 lab monkeys until she met one face to face. The ruffled monkey hissed at her.
SHE SAW THE MONKEYS: One monkey is still on the loose in the Danville area after four escaped from a truck carrying lab monkeys. Michele Fallon saw the wreck unfold. She says people first thought the truck was full of cats! @WNEP pic.twitter.com/9n8XUkm1J7
— Marshall Keely (@MKeelyNews) January 22, 2022
“I thought I was just doing the right thing by helping. I had no idea it would turn out this way,” Fallon told local news station WBRE.
Fallon had a cut on her hand and apparently, the highway was strewn with monkey droppings. That’s about to become important.
After stopping to help at the crash site, Fallon went home to learn that four of the lab monkeys had escaped and authorities were warning the public not to approach them, as they could transmit diseases to humans. That’s when Fallon called the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“I was close to the monkeys, I touched the crates, I walked through their feces, so I was very close. So I called to inquire, you know, was I safe?” Fallon reported.
Fallon has since developed a harsh cough and symptoms of pink eye. She decided to go to the hospital where she was given a rabies vaccine and two weeks’ worth of anti-viral meds.
“Because the monkey did hiss at me and there were feces around, and I did have an open cut, they just want to be precautious,” Fallon told reporters. There’s that monkey feces again.
By Saturday afternoon the four escaped primates were “accounted for.” By that, I mean the Pennsylvania Game Wardens showed up and shots were heard.
The CDC claims this type of monkey can spread herpes virus B through saliva, urine, and — you guessed it — feces.
Three of the monkeys had to be euthanized, though the CDC didn’t reveal why.
The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) used the incident to call for the U.S. to stop using monkeys for experiments.