Angry monkeys attack lab worker, steal COVID-19 blood samples and run away
Yes, this happened a little while ago. However, we want ensure that you experience the weirdness of this story, and it is 100% worth a read, because you should know that COVID monkeys exist.
A lab worker in Meerut was minding his business, carrying blood samples from patients infected with COVID-19. This obviously requires a bit of careful handling, so you can imagine that this lab worker is likely paying pretty close attention.
It was definitely not enough.
A gang of monkeys attacked him mid-transport and made off with the box, containing 3 vials of blood. The COVID monkeys then escaped and were later found in a tree chewing on the samples.
But why would monkeys steal blood? Obviously they didn’t know that there was a pandemic situation and they were effectively stealing virus samples, right? Uh, we hope not. However, there is apparently a widely known conflict between humans and rhesus macaques. Their habitat has been reduced, which has forced them into proximity with humans, and the whole thing has just not gone well. Apparently, neither humans nor monkeys like sharing food and space very much.
Some experts are worried about the implications, but maybe not for the reasons you would think.
“Of course, now there will be naturally panic stricken people blaming the monkeys and there will be rampant cruelty directed towards the monkeys,” Shreejata Gupta said.
Others have similar reservations. Shirley McGreal, founder of the International Primate Protection League, was more concerned with the actions of the lab assistant.
“I am puzzled that any medical professional would carry blood samples outdoors in anything other than a lock box.”
Fair, Shirley. Fair.
So. There’s your little nugget for today. There is a conflict between humans and monkeys the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. They stole some COVID-infected blood samples, gnawed on them, and haven’t been heard from again.
Thanks, 2020. We definitely didn’t ‘t have COVID monkeys on our 2020 catastrophe bingo card.