Baboons best human caretakers to bust out of research center

17 April, 2018, 20:43 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Credit PA

Four baboons imprisoned within a Texas animal research centre tasted freedom for a brief time after they succeeded in making a daring escape. Researchers said baboons are critical to the medical research process because of how similar their body structure is to humans. Scientists use the animals in research on new vaccines and medicines, mysanantonio.com said. "I mean, they're really key to those advances in biomedical research".

The baboons that escaped were reportedly not part of any infectious disease research or active study. One of the animals returned to the enclosure on his own nearly immediately.

"The animal care team held two of the three baboons to the tree line, while members of the animal capture team followed one baboon along the street and used verbal and hand signaling commands to corral the baboon to the tree line for its safety and efficient capture".

The institute says the three baboons and their turncloak co-conspirator are all "doing well".

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". The animal care staff has determined that the animals rolled a 55-gallon barrel to an upright position.

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The baboons usually play with the 55-gallon enrichment barrels inside their six-acre pen to mimic foraging behavior, the research center said in a news release.

The animals propped up barrels against the walls of their home and used them to jump over the fence before escaping the centre perimeter entirely.

The facility's assistant vice president of communications, Lisa Cruz said it was a "truly unique incident". "We have been fond for re-search baboons for at least 50 years".

Lisa Cruz, assistant vice president for communications at the Southwest National Primate Research Centre, that is part of the institute, said: 'We have almost 1,100 baboons on the property that date back eight generations. "Upon noticing the animals on top of the enclosure, our animal care team immediately removed the barrels from the enclosure and alerted the animal capture team".

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