The many smart, dangerous groups of animals who escaped from their laboratory environments and now roam free.
10. One Million Chinese Cockroaches
Did you know that cockroach extracts can – possibly – be used to treat medical problems in humans? Neither did the cockroaches. The difference between you and them is they don’t care. And there are a million of them. And they all escaped from a lab near Dafeng, China when an unknown intruder broke open their plastic enclosure.
No one has any idea where they went. I’m betting they immediately devoured the intruder (to keep him from talking) and went on to build an organized society with nuclear missile silos under all the local refrigerators. Leave the icebox unstocked if you dare. They can survive nuclear war.
9. Nine College-Bound Oregon Monkeys
One night, at a primate research facility, a worker forgot to lock the door to one of the cages. Nine snow monkeys saw their chance and went for it. They slid the latch open and headed out into the world. Authorities were concerned, as these monkeys were infected with the herpes virus. About half were rounded up and brought back to the lab.
The rest went somewhere they knew was a breeding ground for herpes: college. They were spotted on Oregon Health and Science University campus, living the dorm life. Unlike the industrious cockroaches, it’s unlikely that these monkeys will build anything impressive. They’ll probably just sit around on campus, surrounded by their own filth, arguing about who escaped first and who was just a “follower.”
8. Burmese Pythons Now Own Florida
Have you ever been to Florida in the last twenty years? If you have, you weren’t in human territory. You were in Burmese python country. During Hurricane Andrew, in 1992, thousands of lab, pet shop, and zoo animals escaped into the wild. Most of those animals are now dead. The lab, zoo, and pet shop pythons, however, seemed to have joined together to form a United States of Freakin’ Snake.
First they displaced other snakes in Florida. Then they went ahead and took on the alpha predators – one tour group through the everglades boated around a corner and found a Burmese python whipping the hell out of a full grown alligator. Now they’re thriving, and have evidently decided on their own version of Manifest Destiny. One third of the country is habitable for pythons. They’re coming.
7. And Have Blackmailed South Carolina into Reenacting Jurassic Park
South Carolina took one look at Florida and apparently decided to appease the serpent. A lab there wanted to figure out if a Burmese python could live outside a lab. To find out, they let them live outside a lab. Sure, they created an extensive park for the snakes, but it’s all enclosed. And they’re including radio tagging systems on their snakes. Plus the snakes are all male. So there is no way that they can get into the larger ecosystem and breed. Sure, Mr. Hammond. Sure.
6. Plague Mice Have Nothing To Lose
Just to confirm that there has indeed been a nightmare situation in lab animal escapes, in 2005, three mice carrying strains of the plague escaped from a lab in Newark. There’s no word on how they escaped. Presumably, they hid a syringe somewhere in their enclosure, filled it with their own blood, then when some hapless intern got too close to the cage on night they grabbed him, syringe poised over his neck, and hissed, “Do you feel lucky?” Then they made their way out tucked in his pockets, whispering, “Just be cool, Keith. No one wants to do anything crazy. Be cool, and you’ll make it through this.”
Lab representatives said that animals with the plague tended to die quickly, so there was little reason to be concerned. Of course, whenever spokespeople get involved, there’s every reason to be concerned. It’s tough to say what the mice did. Did they spend their time achieving enlightenment before they passed on? Or did they start biting every other mouse they saw in order to get the plague to resurface in human society in the northeast? If the latter is the case, I guess we’ll find out eventually.
Read More: Here