Baboons use barrel to escape Texas research facility, officials say

Baboons use barrel to escape Texas research facility, officials say

The four primates were quickly recaptured and taken back to the Texas Biomedical Research Institute-but not before surprising some drivers on a nearby road.

Dr. John Bernal, an attending veterinarian at the SNPRC, said the baboons were not part of an active study. "These baboons are critical to biomedical research, particularly in chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity and more".

As well as the 1,100 baboons, the centre has around 2,500 other animals in captivity. Workers who retrieved the baboons were only following protocol by wearing masks and other protective equipment while tracking the primates down, he noted.

He said people were "running around, screaming at this thing" and chasing the baboon until it finally became exhausted and rested under a tree, where workers were able to capture it. "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".

"All of the escaped baboons were unharmed and are said to be doing well". "Our team was ensuring the baboon was not hurt by traffic on Military Drive".

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The baboons are housed in an open air enclosure that is surrounded by perimeter walls that fold inward to preclude the animals from jumping out.

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

The barrel the primates used was placed in their pen because staff believed it would help with enrichment, so that the baboons could mimic foraging behavior.

Raw video: Monkeys chased through streets after escaping research facility by rolling a 55 gallon barrel near a wall in their open-air enclosure and climbing out.

The baboons as the Texas facility have all been born and bred at the location, the latest in a series of eight generations over the last half century. Researchers mentioned owing to just how much their own body structure is really to individuals, baboons are vital towards the medical care process.

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