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Monkeys attack lab assistant in Delhi, make off with COVID-19 blood samples: 'This is something new'


In what is definitely not the start of a movie about a global primate uprising, a "gang of monkeys" overpowered a lab assistant at the Meerut Medical College in Delhi, India, on Friday and made off with three COVID-19 blood samples, Sky News reports. After the incident, videos emerged of one of the monkeys sitting in a tree "chewing the sample collection kits," The Times of India adds.

In recent weeks, monkeys in Delhi have been described as "reclaiming" the city as people have largely stayed indoors due to the lockdown. An officer at the Rashtrapati Bhawan presidential compound told France24 in early April that the primates seemed to be "stealing a lot more, but not yet threatening humans."

But "this is something new," Lucknow Bureau Chief Amir Haque told The Times of India. "Nobody would have thought that the monkey menace on the medical college campus can actually lead to such a scare," he added.

The COVID-19 tests were later recovered from the monkeys, and Dheeraj Raj, the college superintendent, reassured AFP that the samples "were still intact and we don't think there is any risk of contamination or spread." Still, it might be better to stay on the monkeys' good side. Because you know what they say: Apes alone … weak. Apes together, strong.