Florida Fish and Wildlife To Remove Monkeys From Silver Springs Park After Report They Carry Deadly Herpes
By Space Coast Daily // January 13, 2018
rhesus macaque monkeys carry deadly herpes virus that could potentially spread to humans
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said it plans to remove the rhesus macaque monkeys from Silver Springs State Park near Ocala, Florida, because the primates carry a deadly herpes virus that could potentially spread to humans through their excrement that is mostly harmless to them.
Rhesus macaques are native to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Afghanistan, Vietnam, southern China and some neighboring areas.
The rhesus macaque monkeys were brought to Silver Springs State Park as a tourist attraction by a boat operator in the 1930s to enhance his “Jungle Cruise.” Since then, the monkeys have taken up residence in the state with determination, expanding rapidly because they lack natural predators.
According to research published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, as many as 30 percent of the primates now populating the park are shedding the herpes B virus through saliva and other bodily fluids, making them dangerous to the human population.
“The commission supports the removal of these monkeys from the environment to help reduce the threat they pose,” said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Carli Segelson to the Associated Press.
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