Monday, August 22, 2005

City's mystery mammal not a monkey corpse

A dead animal found in a shipping container in Brockville last week is not a monkey as first believed.

Exactly what it is, however, remains unknown after tests taken at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph.

"It's 18 inches long and it had a fur coat," said Dr. Robert Bourdeau, medical officer of health for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, who is filling in locally while Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit MOH Dr. Charles Gardner is on holiday.

"We do not know what we are dealing with. It's not been identified species-wise. It's about the size of a small ferret."

In spite of that uncertainty, Bourdeau said the gruesome discovery at Black and Decker's distribution centre last Wednesday poses no threat to the population's health. He said merchandise held in the container since the discovery has been released because there are no reasonable grounds to suspect a risk.

"This animal left southeast Asia about two months ago. It was in a confined environment all the time so it probably died soon after. Three, four, five days, it's totally irrelevant."

He said the temperature of the 40-foot metal container being shipped overseas reaches more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) and the protracted heat would have killed any micro-organisms on the body.

"It doesn't matter if it's on the top or bottom of the pile. In the summer time it gets damn hot in those things."

Story here.

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