Four Clever Baboons Escaped Over The Wall At Texas Research Facility

4 Baboons Briefly Wreak Havoc In Texas After Using Barrel To Escape Facility

By Ben Mc Leay

The four baboons escaped briefly on Saturday from their open-air enclosure at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio.

However, the three remaining primates were recaptured within half an hour.

They were out and about for twenty to thirty minutes before an animal capture team caught up with them.

For those anxious about how exactly they captured the naughty baboons, John Bernal, DVM, attending veterinarian at SNPRC, explains.

The documents show that the centre has received numerous warnings from government inspectors regarding the welfare of its inmates, and was "required to pay a fine after it was found in violation of the Animal Welfare Act in 2011", KSAT reports.

The rogue baboon was finally captured - but not without putting up a fight. The baboons were not used in any infectious disease research, according to a news release, and the animal capture team wore protective equipment for the safety of the animals.

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The study institute is now home to more than 2,500 creatures.

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.

Video clip revealed the animals gallivanting down roadways a few miles out of the study centre before there was a highly trained team able to re-capture them, officials said.

The plastic barrels were being used as an "enrichment tool" to help mimic foraging behaviors. 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.

None of the baboons were hurt during the escape, according to the station. But after the escape, the barrel was removed from the enclosure.

"This was truly a unique incident", Lisa Cruz, assistant vice-president for communications, said. "We have been caring for research baboons for more than 50 years". We have almost 1100 baboons on the property that date back eight generations. Researchers said baboons are critical to the medical research process because of how similar their body structure is to humans.

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