Baboons use barrel to escape Texas research facility, officials say

Credit PA

Credit PA

A set of baboons that escaped a Texas study facility increased it churns up a barrel nearby a wall socket and subsequently fled their own retractable enclosure, authorities said Monday. Baboons, as with all our animals, are critical to biomedical research. "I meanthat they are really key to those developments in biomedical analysis" Dr. John Bernal told News 4 Sanantonio.

The baboon's home is part of the Southwest National Primate Research Centre and it has been in use for 35 years.

For those anxious about how exactly they captured the naughty baboons, John Bernal, DVM, attending veterinarian at SNPRC, explains. Bouton said, "They didn't want [one of the baboons] to get hurt because they were trying their best to quarantine him, but being that kind of animal, he wasn't having it".

The animal capture team, per protocol, was wearing personal protective equipment for the safety of the animals, as they are susceptible to human illnesses.

During this weekend's incident, the fourth baboon appears to have immediately returned to the enclosure; however, without a visual confirmation and until a full head count of the animals in the enclosure, our animal capture team continued monitoring the perimeter area, while animal care staff completed a full head count and determined that the fourth baboon had, in fact, returned to the enclosure and all four baboons were officially accounted for.

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They climbed the barrel to scale the fence and took off - sending an animal care team on a wild goose chase.

"This is heartbreaking. Four baboons worked together to roll a 55 gallon barrel and escape the research facility where they were subject to horrifying medical experiments", surgeon and healthcare columnist Eugene Gu wrote on Twitter.

Resident Dorian Reyna, who captured video of workers chasing baboons down Military Drive before joining the pursuit, said in a Facebook post that he had been concerned at first seeing "people in scrubs and face masks chasing a baboon".

"This was truly a unique incident", Lisa Cruz, assistant vice-president for communications, reportedly said. The institute added, "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.

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