Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Baboons Escape Texas Research Facility

Baboons Escape Texas Research Facility

The baboons were only recently provided with the 55 gallon barrels that staff introduced to their open air enclosure as an "enrichment tool" and in the hope that they would be "used to help mimic foraging behaviours".

Four baboons used a barrel to escape from a research facility in Texas on the weekend, as startled motorists took video of the primates running alongside a road.

The baboons were recovered within 30 minutes.

Once they got out the alarm was raised nearly immediately - turns out that your average Texan isn't used to seeing monkeys running down the road.

Dr. John Bernal, an attending veterinarian at Texas Biomedical Research Institute's Southwest National Primate Research Center, said the animal care team used "verbal and hand signaling commands to corral the baboon" on the street.

Baboons being kept for medical testing at a research facility momentarily escaped to freedom after coming together to stage an elaborate escape on Saturday.

They have now been removed, according to KSAT in San Antonio.

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"You could tell that [the workers] were panicking because they didn't want him [the animal] to get hurt because they were trying their best to quarantine him ... but he wasn't having it."

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.

A fourth baboon was captured after it led researchers on a wild goose chase down a busy road. Scientists use the animals in research on new vaccines and medicines, said.

"Our team was ensuring the baboon was not hurt by traffic on Military Drive", he said.

"That was truly a distinctive incident", Lisa Cruz, the assistant vice president for communications, told the San Antonio ExpressNews.

The research institute houses more than 2,500 animals.

"Baboons are crucial to metabolic lookup, cardiovascular research, neurological research, vaccine studies". Our animal capture team and entire animal care team acted diligently to locate, secure and account for all four baboons.

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