Kenya Airways won’t renew a contract with a monkey breeding farm in Mauritius after 100 long-tailed macaque monkeys transported by the airline from the Indian Ocean island to the United States were involved in a road crash in Pennsylvania.
Four of the monkeys managed to escape from their cage after the truck transporting them from New York JFK to a quarantine facility in Florida crashed on Route 54 near I-80 in rural Pennsylvania.
One monkey was quickly recovered but three got loose and had to be tracked for days before being located and euthanized.
An innocent woman who was in a car behind the crash went to help but started feeling ill several days after coming into contact with the monkeys. She had gone to see what was in the crate but ended up with an eyeful of monkey saliva and developed a cough and an infected eye.
The woman is now on two types of anti-viral medication to prevent against rabies.
Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) learned that Kenya Airways had transported the monkeys to the United States and immediately fired off letters to the airline’s chief executive and chair of the board.
“As a conservationist, I am equally horrified even though I am assured that … every international guideline has been followed,” chairman Michael Joseph told PETA in reply.
“We will not renew the contract that expires at the end of February,” the letter continued.
PETA claims that many lab test monkeys are transported into the US from Asia and Africa “with almost no oversight” and that officials are rarely told if a monkey develops signs of illness after completing the mandatory quarantine period.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.