In a strange-enough-to-convince prank, “James A. Perrotti, Chief of Yale Police,” sent an email (from a Gmail account) to the university. Apparently five rhesus monkeys had gotten loose from the Child Study Center. Based on the email:
The animals are infected with the Motaba virus, a hemorrhagic fever native to central Africa; Yale-New Haven Hospital staff is ready to administer the E-1101 serum, but it must be administered within several hours of infection.
Potential tip-off: Why would Yale have diseased monkeys in the child study center?
This mystery is only compounded by the fact that searching “Motaba virus” on Wikipedia takes you directly to the page for the film Outbreak. The monkeys purportedly escaped at 5:07am on Thursday; the YDN reported a number of pranksters aping the imaginary lab creatures in full monkey suits. Anything for some time away from class – or a sweet, sweet banana.
The Yale Daily News debunked this whopper in no time. But the pranksters (Pundits?) did show up wearing some costumes. We got pictures. See the original prank email in full along with photos (Update: from the Yale Herald. See more below) after the jump.
From: Chief James A. Perrotti <email@example.com>
Subject: A message from Chief Perrotti
Date: December 3, 2009 9:10:29 AM EST
A Message to the Yale Community:
I write to inform you that five rhesus monkeys escaped from the neurochemical research laboratory of the Child Study Center (230 South Frontage Road) at 5:07am on Thursday, December 3, 2009. All members of the Yale community are urged to exercise caution in their movements about campus until the animals are recaptured. If you or anyone you know comes into contact with one of the monkeys, seek medical attention immediately. The animals are infected with the Motaba virus, a hemorrhagic fever native to central Africa; Yale-New Haven Hospital staff is ready to administer the E-1101 serum, but it must be administered within several hours of infection. Subjects escaped on S. Frontage towards Central Campus and were last seen near George and Church. If you have any information regarding this case or should witness suspicious activity, please report it immediately to the Yale Police at 203-432-1374.
James A. Perrotti
Chief of Police
Yale University Official Message
NOTE: This official Yale University message can also be viewed at: https://light.its.yale.edu/messages/univmsgs/detail.asp?Msg=48459
Getting all Jane Goodall on these monkeys:
This looks awkward.
Okay, this looks super awkward.
UPDATE: This item originally ran without attributing these photos to the Bulldog Bullblog, the blog of the Yale Herald. To whoever called IvyGate out in the comments: You were right! This was a total screw-up and we apologize.