Updated 7:39 p.m. E-mail Cross Campus with photos, videos and written accounts of today’s monkey shenanigans, or post them in the comments box.

Most of Yale’s undergraduate community woke up Wednesday morning to find an unusual e-mail from Yale Police Department Chief James Perrotti. According to the e-mail, “five rhesus monkeys escaped from the neurochemical research laboratory of the Child Study Center.” The Yale community was warned to take caution in their movements around campus, and to seek medical attention immediately if they came into contact with any of the diseased monkeys.

It’s safe to say that the e-mail was a prank; the sender e-mail address was “james.perrotti@gmail.com,” rather than the chief’s usual “yale.police@yale.edu” or “safe@yale.edu.” Additionally, a hyperlink at the end of the e-mail, which was purported to link to “https://light.its.yale.edu/messages/univmsgs/detail.asp?Msg=48459,” was actually a link to this rather inappropriate Web site.

But the monkey shenanigans have continued throughout the day. Below are dispatches from News reporters around campus:

  • “Someone clothed in a full body ape costume peeked into Catherine Nicholson’s 1 p.m. section of English 125 today during a discussion of John Donne. The ape quickly left and the class went on, albeit now with a closed door.”
  • “At 12:30 p.m., a student dressed in a monkey suit appeared on Cross Campus, and other students in white suits ran after him and dragged him away.”
  • “At 1:17 p.m. today a safari-clad student rushed through Commons Dining Hall yelling, “Has anyone seen a monkey?” A student in a full ape costume followed the screaming safari student, and three more students dressed in white laboratory robes ran to capture the creature. The students may have been attempting to reenact a scene from them 1995 film Outbreak, which featured the fictional Motaba virus of central Africa and E-1101 serum that the e-mail had mentioned.”
  • During the Brain & Thought lecture in Linsly-Chittenden Hall this afternoon, a student dressed as a banana ran screaming through one door and out the other. Two students in ape costumes and a few “doctors” followed, screaming about monkeys. Professor Amy Arnsten, whose class was witness to a “zombie invasion” staged by the Pundits earlier this semester, took it all in stride. “I don’t know if anyone has been Pundit-ed twice,” she said, smiling.
  • Check back to the Cross Campus blog for more updates, and read the full e-mail from james.perrotti@gmail.com below:

    From: Chief James A. Perrotti

    Subject: A message from Chief Perrotti

    Date: December 3, 2009 9:10:29 AM EST

    To: itscomm2@yale.edu

    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