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Silver River Florida Monkeys with Herpes Learn to Swim

Getty Images, photo by William Vanderson

This can’t be good. In the 1930’s two Rhesus monkeys were taken to an island on the Silver River near Ocala, Florida. They were taken their due to the popularity of Tarzan movies at that time. Now, over time, there is a colony of monkeys numbering over 1,000, and they could spread the deadly herpes virus to mainland Florida.

Evolution is an amazing thing and the monkeys, being stranded on an island for so many years, have now learned to swim. Many of the monkeys carry the Herpes B virus which is not uncommon among monkeys but now Wildlife officials have called for a public health hazard because of the chance of infection to humans. The river is a popular destination for tourists and they like to cruise past the island to see the monkeys but officials are worried of direct contact and the spread of the disease. For now, the river tours will continue, but officials are keeping a close eye on the monkeys.

Examiner.com

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