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Old 09-15-2013, 04:29 PM   #213
scho63 scho63 is offline
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Herpes-Infected Monkeys Invade Florida

I thought they were already there and living quite well in some of the condos.

http://news.yahoo.com/herpes-infecte...153637867.html

If any state in the union best represents the dangers of invasive species, it's Florida. The Sunshine State is home to what's been a raging Burmese python invasion for some decades. And its Cuban tree frog problem isn't doing the eco-system any favors either.

But now the state has a new issue: wild monkeysówith herpes.

There are about 1,000 feral Rhesus monkeys living in Florida right now. The majority of those scooped up by wildlife officials over the years have tested positive for the Herpes B virus, and this week, the entire colony was declared a public health hazard.

A small handful of the wild animals originally landed in the state in the 1930s, courtesy of "Colonel" Tooey, a tour operator who wanted to give visitors a Tarzan-inspired experience of Florida's Silver River State Park.

Tooey kept the monkeys sequestered on an island, but they've since taught themselves how to swim, easily reaching the mainland and putting down roots as far as Jacksonville, which is hundreds of miles away.

Herpes B doesn't cause serious symptoms in these particular animals, but in humans, it can lead to neurological impairment or fatal encephalomyelitis, an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

Florida's Rhesus monkeys are known to act aggressively towards people, and the state's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, concerned the animals could spread their disease or cause other injuries, are warning tourists and natives to be aware and keep their distance.
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