Captured Formosan macaques to undergo rabies testing
The China Post news and CNAThree aggressive Formosan macaques were captured by Yushan National Park Headquarters yesterday and will be sent to be tested for diseases including rabies.
October 15, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
With help from National Pingtung University's Institute of Wildlife Conservation and the Nantou County Agriculture Department, park authorities yesterday captured two male Formosan macaques which had recently hurt nine people and a female macaque that did not attack anyone but had acted erratically.
Tsai Hsiang-jung (蔡向榮), director-general of the council's Animal Health Research Institute (AHRI), said in an interview with Central New Agency that Taiwan has never seen any cases of rabies in macaques.
Cases of rabies are currently found mostly in ferret-badgers in Taiwan. Ferret-badgers move on the ground while macaques spend most of their time in trees. The possibility of macaques being bitten by rabies-containing ferret-badgers is very low, he said. Tsai, however, admitted that the macaques can be infected with rabies if they are bitten.
The AHRI has talked with experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who accessed the possibility of macaques contracting rabies as low, Tsai said.
Test results on the macaques could come out as soon as today, Tsai said.
Yushan National Park first warned visitors of the Formosan macaques on Sunday, saying that a strongly-built male monkey has been approaching passersby and biting or scratching them at a restroom at the Shishan service station.
The authorities cautioned visitors not to get too close to wild animals such as Formosan rock monkeys, since they suffer stress when humans approach them, according to Wu Hsiang-chien, deputy head of Yushan National Park Headquarters.
Anyone who is bitten or scratched is advised to wash the wound for 15 minutes and seek medical attention, Wu said. They might also consider getting rabies shots as there is a risk of rabies spreading among warm-blooded animals in Taiwan.
A caged male Formosan macaque is seen in this photo released by Yushan National Park Headquarters, yesterday. The animal and two other macaques were captured yesterday for ...