Baboons Escape Lab Infamous for Neglecting and Killing Primates

Published by Zachary Toliver.

Update: Texas Biomed’s sloppy animal care has—once again—led to the injury of animals. A just-posted U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection report from April 2, 2018, reveals that two macaque monkeys were seriously hurt after an employee failed to secure a latch properly on the divider between the monkeys’ cages. The ink had barely dried on this latest report when four baboons escaped from the facility on April 14.

The USDA is now looking into PETA’s complaint regarding the negligence that led to this widely reported escape and put Texas Biomed’s own staff, the public, and nonhuman primates at risk. In light of this new revelation and Texas Biomed’s long history of negligence, mistreatment, and sheer incompetence, PETA reiterates that the facility should close its laboratory and release all primates to a sanctuary immediately.

Originally published on April 17, 2018:

Last weekend, four baboons escaped from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, proving yet again that this hell-on-Earth facility is a danger to the public and torment for the animals used in horrific experiments.

Experimenters claim that the baboons rolled a 55-gallon drum, placed it in an upright position, and used it to climb out of an open-air enclosure. Frazzled Texas Biomed employees—wearing medical masks and gloves—were seen chasing the animals through traffic in west San Antonio. After roughly 30 minutes, the baboons were captured and returned to the facility. Thankfully, no baboon or human was hurt—that we know of.

Texas Biomed puts everyone at risk—its staff, the public, and the 2,900 nonhuman primates it holds captive—by imprisoning animals whose one desire is to get away from the nightmare of the laboratory.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) fined the facility $25,714 in 2011, following a complaint by PETA, for repeatedly allowing primates to escape from their cages and injure themselves and others, including humans. The fine covered the 2010 escape of two baboons who then harmed a caretaker and a 2009 incident in which a young monkey escaped in frigid weather, suffered from severe hypothermia, and had to be euthanized.

USDA reports reveal that in 2017, the facility was cited after a male baboon sustained second-degree burns to his hands and feet after coming into contact with a heating pipe. In 2016, the facility was also cited for injury and death to baboons. In one incident, a male baboon lifted a chute door, attacked a female, and killed her infant. In 2013 and 2014, a young baboon died after becoming emaciated and sustaining extensive bite wounds to his body, multiple monkeys died by strangulation when they became entangled in door cables—and no one noticed—and a baboon was killed when a guillotine door fell on him.

The tragedies will go on and on until this facility is shut down.

What You Can Do

PETA urges Texas Biomed to close its laboratory and release the primates into a reputable sanctuary immediately. All animals have a right to be treated with respect and not be experimented on—we’ll never stop opposing anyone who torments, mutilates, or kills them for senseless tests.

Take action against neglectful, abusive primate laboratories today by calling on authorities to strip them of funding:

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind