Rhesus macaque monkeys don't look particularly scary, but health experts in Florida say it's time to get rid the non-native species, which has been multiplying rapidly in Silver Springs State Park for the past 80 years.
The monkeys are native to Asia but were introduced to a small island near Silver Springs in 1938 as part of an idea for a "Tarzan" theme park. Unbeknownst to the would-be theme park owner, rhesus macaques are excellent swimmers and they quickly escaped into the Ocala National Forest.
Nowadays, hundreds of the prolific primates are thriving in the Silver Springs area and a recent study estimates that their population will double by 2022. Another study claims that up to 30 percent of the monkeys carry a rare and deadly form of the herpes B virus. Though herpes B is very rarely spread from monkeys to humans, it can be fatal when it does.
According to an article in National Geographic, the virus is spread through the animal's urine, saliva, and feces. In 1997, one woman died from herpes B after getting bodily fluids from a captive monkey in her eye.
On Wednesday's episode of “The Glenn Beck Radio Program,” comedian Andrew Heaton joined Glenn to talk about Florida's latest in a series of unusual issues for the Sunshine State.
"Florida has 29 electoral votes. And it has deadly escaped swimming rhesus macaque monkeys," Andrew said. "I think — because there's all this difficulty in Broward County and everything else going on in Florida — I think next election, if you're in Florida you should be allowed to vote for another state, Canadian province, or astronaut, and [they] get to make your vote for you. That's my plan for Florida."
"Have we thought about taking the monkeys and putting them in charge of the vote?" Glenn laughed.
Watch the video clip above to catch more of the comedic conversation.
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