PETA Calls For Investigation After Report of Gruesome Monkey Death at WaNPRC

For Immediate Release:
August 7, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


In a letter sent today, PETA is strongly urging the Washington state Veterinary Board of Governors to investigate the circumstances that reportedly led to the gruesome death of a monkey during a botched procedure at the Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC) at the University of Washington (UW).

Technicians gave injectable sedation to a monkey in order to remove dead tissue accumulating around a metal device that had been implanted in his skull, the university’s highest-ranking veterinarian stated during a meeting of the school’s animal oversight committee on July 27.

The veterinarian reported that, within 15 minutes, the monkey showed signs of trouble. She stated that there was no emergency equipment in the procedure room and apparently no veterinarian immediately available, so a tech scrambled to another floor to get a portable anesthesia machine. Even though the machine, which had been donated, was faulty, the monkey was apparently hooked up to it anyway and sustained a traumatic pressure injury to his lungs. The veterinarian said the monkey went into cardiac arrest and died.

“A monkey’s lungs were apparently blown up like a balloon while his tormenters dithered with subpar equipment,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on the board to investigate this horrifying report with the rigor they would bring to investigating a small veterinary clinic and to require that this failure of an operation increase its standards or, better yet, shut down.”

The UW Veterinary Services department is supposed to oversee more than 100,000 animals in its laboratories, but it’s failing at the most basic level. Last year, PETA exposed that WaNPRC experimenters have left needles, gauze, and other surgical equipment inside monkeys’ bodies, infant monkeys have died from undiagnosed diseases and malnourishment, and days-old monkeys have been mutilated and killed by other caged and stressed primates, among other horrors.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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