Welcome Back, Bubonic Plague!

We woke up this morning in an unusually cheerful mood. Perhaps it was the pleasant weather, perhaps the Zoloft was finally kicking in. Either way, we whistled a happy tune (AC/DC's "There's Gonna Be Some Rockin'") as we walked to the Gawker offices and, for the first time in ages, felt somehow serene. Then we found out that the bubonic plague was back.

A Denver Zoo monkey has died of bubonic plague, apparently after eating a squirrel stricken with the disease, Colorado health and zoo officials said on Monday.

Five squirrels and a rabbit found dead on zoo grounds tested positive for the flea-borne disease in recent weeks, Denver Zoo spokeswoman Ana Bowie said.

Zookeepers on May 15 noticed the 8-year-old hooded capuchin monkey was lethargic, and the next day it was found dead in its enclosure. Zoo veterinarians sent tissue samples to a state laboratory where it was determined the animal died of the plague. The death was announced on Monday.

Zoo officials are quick to point out that the risk of humans contracting the plague is extremely rare, but that's what they would say, isn't it? Maybe we're just pessimists by nature, or maybe it's that we finally saw 28 Months Later last night, but we're pretty sure the immediate future is full of marauding bands of zombies terrorizing the remaining survivors until their lust for human flesh is sated and we all become a pile of rotting corpses and the earth, free at last of its most destructive species, finally exhales in a great silence. Anyway, if you've got drinks plans anytime in June, you might want to reschedule.

Monkey dead from bubonic plague in Denver [Reuters]