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Baboons Escape Texas Research Facility

17 April 2018

Jannelle Bouton saw one of the four baboons who broke through a fencing barrier at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, leading to an all out search mission.

"The actions of the animal care and capture team taken this weekend is just one example of the strong training and preparedness of animal care workers in biomedical research".

For those anxious about how exactly they captured the naughty baboons, John Bernal, DVM, attending veterinarian at SNPRC, explains. Our animal capture team and entire animal care team acted diligently to locate, secure and account for all four baboons.

The rogue baboon was finally captured - but not without putting up a fight. Scientists conduct research on the animals to help develop new vaccines and medicines.

The baboons that escaped were reportedly not part of any infectious disease research or active study. Officials at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute sent out its personnel to bring the baboons back to the facility.

The baboon's home is part of the Southwest National Primate Research Centre and it has been in use for 35 years. A fourth was believed to have been on the loose but a head count determined it returned to the enclosure immediately. But, perhaps foolishly, the institute gave them 55-gallon barrels as "enrichment" tools "used to help mimic foraging behaviors".

"Our team was ensuring the baboon was not hurt by traffic on Military Drive". They figured out that if they rolled the barrels to an upright position near the fence and climbed on top of them, they could get out. But after the escape, the barrel was removed from the enclosure.

"This was truly a unique incident", said Lisa Cruz, Assistant Vice President for Communications. Researchers mentioned owing to just how much their own body structure is really to individuals, baboons are vital towards the medical care process.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released documents Monday pointing to various violations at the research facility, which was ordered to pay a $25,714 fine in 2011 after two baboons escaped an enclosure. We have almost 1100 baboons on the property that date back eight generations.

Baboons at the research institute have aided in the development of numerous drugs, therapies and vaccines for conditions like heart disease, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis, KSAT said.

Baboons Escape Texas Research Facility