Facts about the Florida rhesus macaques– In the 1930s, Tarzan was a superhero, a cult figure. there were many Hollywood movies made and countless novels that were released to the public. So much was the fame of Tarzan that according to legend, a tour boat operator in Silver Springs Florida brought a small pack of rhesus macaques to add exotic flavor to his river rides. He could give tourists a look at his jungle theme and tell them that the Tarzan movies were filmed here. Excellent business tactic. Since then this small group of rhesus macaques has blossomed into a bigger pack and has spread to other areas of the park.
Since the last week, a startling discovery was made when a wildlife ranger took samples of rhesus macaques excretion for routine testing.It showed strains of the Herpes B virus , that unfortunately has a high mortality rate.
Keep in mind that The biggest pandemics of the last two decades , the Ebola virus, as well as HIV virus are both thought to have been transmitted initially by species of the Family of Apes.
6 Facts about the Florida rhesus macaques
1.The rhesus macaques monkey is home to North India and other sparts of Asia. They were brought to several wildlife parks on the outskirts of Florida as a tourist attraction.
2.They number in the range of 170-185 at last count.
3.Recent discovery has shown that about 30% of the population is found to have the Herpes B virus in its excretion – feces, urine and saliva.
4.Rhesus macaques cause havoc to property and food in Asia, they known to be aggressive and always roam in packs.They are known to grab food bags or picnic baskets so caution should be taken before attempting to feed them.
5.So far approximately 50 cases of Herpes B virus has been found in humans, out of which almost half have been fatal. That is a bad statistic.
6.So far it can only be transmitted through bodily fluids, but this is startling as the virus could mutate in future and become airborne.