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Monkeys attack lab worker, steal COVID-19 samples as 2020 continues to use critters to try to kill us all


Coronavirus from bats. Murder hornets. Destructive moths. Giant lizards. Now this.

Photo by Khandaker Azizur Rahman Sumon/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A new report out of India involving monkeys, a laboratory, and stolen COVID-19 sample collection kits shows just how far the year 2020 will go to use creatures and critters to kill all of mankind.

If the threats to our health had stopped with just the coronavirus that came from bats (either in a lab or at a wet market), that would have been bad enough.

Add to it murder hornets, gypsy moths, and invasive giant lizards, and a person could be excused for thinking the animal kingdom is strategizing to wipe us out — or at least scare us enough to keep us indoors. (Don't forget, in March, a man broke his community's coronavirus lockdown orders and got eaten by a crocodile.)

Did you say monkeys?

Sky News reported Friday that a gang of primates attacked a laboratory assistant at Meerut Medical College in Delhi, India, and ran off with a stash of COVID-19 blood test samples that had been taken from three patients.

One of the perpetrators was later found in a tree chewing on one of the collection kits, the Times of India said, according to Sky News. However, apparently none of the samples were damaged, though the patients' tests had to be taken again.

The college's superintendent said the samples were still intact and that he didn't think there was a risk of spread.

But the country has been cautious about the possibility that the coronavirus could mutate and infect primates, and citizens have been warned to stay away from the creatures and not feed them.

The actions of the band of rhesus macaques fits a pattern of behavior by the monkeys as they've become more emboldened during India's pandemic lockdown and have taken over parts of the city. Sky News said there have been reports of the animals congregating in sections of Delhi that are normally full of humans.

More from Sky News:

Reports have previously emerged of the primates causing chaos in Delhi, snatching food and mobile telephones, breaking into homes and terrorising people in and around the Indian capital.

They have colonised areas around the city's parliament and the sites of key ministries, from the prime minister's office to the finance and defence ministries, scaring both civil servants and the public.

Next up: frogs.

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