Misericordia Monkey Business: Professor Gains International Coverage


Isaac Glidewell

Jimmy May, Misericordia professor and photo journalist, poses with a local newspaper displaying his photos on the front page.

Isaac Glidewell, Editor-in-chief

Misericordia Monkey Business: Professor Takes Photos That Get International Coverage

On a recent Friday afternoon, Misericordia professor and photojournalist Jimmy May stumbled upon a story that would become international news.

May, who has worked as a news photographer for about 35 years, is currently employed by the Press-Enterprise in Bloomsburg.

A crash on Route 54 near I-80, a road known for high-speed crashes, occurred when a covered trailer collided with a dump truck.

May didn’t have much information, other than being told to report to the crash site.

“It was quiet when I was going there,” he said. “You don’t know what you had injury-wise.”

When he arrived, he saw were crates sprawled all over the road. May didn’t think much of that until he spoke to a fire chief on scene.

“They’re monkeys,” the fire chief said, indicating the crates contained about 100 monkeys. One crate broke open on impact and monkeys escaped.

“It was a strange thing all along,” May said.

May was told the monkeys were being transported to a laboratory in another state and there was worry about diseases they may have been carrying.

May was able to shoot photographs of the spilled crates before the situation was cleaned.

“I was thinking this is national to international news,” May said. “This is something people will read. This is something that people will make a stance on.”

When May released the photos, he got notifications of local media outlets using the photos. After some time, he got notifications of his photos being used in other states and around the world.

“This is something very local – a car accident,” he said, “but the contents made it international news.”

This, however, is not the only odd spill May has photographed.

“Thirty five years of doing this, I’ve seen everything (spilled on the roadway) from toilet paper to a load of cow livers (going to a dog food plant),” he said.

“It’s just one of the strangest crashes I’ve ever covered.”