Not even kidding. According to The Austin American Statesman, grief counselors were made available to employees of the University of Texas Keeling Animal Research Center after an adult chimpanzee who escaped from the experimentation facility was shot and killed near the campus. Anyone else find it odd that employees of a facility that cages animals and performs cruel experiments on them against their will would need specialists to comfort them when the animals die due to their facility’s negligence?
PETA filed a formal complaint today, calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the laboratory for alleged violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including failure to ensure that personnel are qualified to perform their duties and failure to provide structurally sound housing for nonhuman primates. Here’s what PETA Primate Specialist Dr. Debra Durham told the media:
“Chimpanzees are intelligent, sensitive, and resourceful—they shouldn’t be incarcerated in laboratories in the first place. Research on chimpanzees is banned in many countries. The very least that this laboratory can do is ensure that these animals have safe living spaces.”
Which doesn’t seem to be happening at the moment, given that this is the second chimpanzee escape from the facility in the past six months. You’d almost think these animals don’t want to be there.
Maybe they can send in a team of basic human decency counselors along with the grief folks. Just a thought.