NIH to Face Student Protest Over Cruel ‘Monkey Fright’ Experiments

Fired Up Young Protesters Will Demand an End to Government Experimenter’s Torment of Brain-Damaged Primates

For Immediate Release:
September 8, 2020

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Carbondale, Ill.

Tomorrow, a group of Students Opposing Speciesism members wearing monkey masks will gather at Southern Illinois University–Carbondale for a socially distanced protest to demand an end to National Institutes of Health (NIH) experimenter Elisabeth Murray’s painful, invasive, and deadly experiments on primates, in which monkeys are permanently brain damaged and then frightened with fake snakes and spiders.

When:    Wednesday, September 9, 12 noon

Where:    Faner Hall Breezeway, SIU-Carbondale, 1000 Faner Dr. (near the intersection with W. Grand Avenue), Carbondale

Murray has received more than $36 million in taxpayer funding in the past 13 years alone for these “psychology” experiments. She cuts into monkeys’ heads, saws off a portion of their skulls to expose the brain, and then injects toxins into it to inflict permanent and traumatic brain damage. In some monkeys, she suctions out part of the brain. Afterward, they’re placed alone in a small metal cage, and experimenters terrorize them with rubber snakes and spiders, wooden mechanical snakes, and fake jumping spiders. In 30 years of these tests, Murray’s laboratory has failed to develop a single treatment or cure for humans.

“These students are demanding a better world, one in which millions of tax dollars aren’t spent on tormenting sensitive monkeys in laboratories,” says PETA Future Director of Students Opposing Speciesism Program Rachelle Owen. “PETA is proud to stand with the younger generation as they call on NIH to stop these deranged experiments and empty the cages now.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—obtained video footage from Murray’s laboratory revealing that 23 monkeys were held alone in stark cages, including one named Wilfork, who is nearly bald, likely as a result of severe stress. After Murray is finished with the monkeys, they are all killed.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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