Tragic future of escaped baboons: how primate who made a break from a Sydney hospital prior to vasectomy with his two “women” is confronted with a “life of captivity” and experiments
- Baboons who have escaped from the Sydney hospital have been bred for medical experiments
- Three baboons were free around the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney
- A male baboon had to undergo a vasectomy and escaped with his two wives
- In 2017, 272 baboons, marmosets and macaques had experimental procedures
- The animals are specially bred in West Sydney and in Gippsland in Victoria
- Findings from their experiments are not necessarily relevant to humans
Three baboons in medical research who have escaped imprisonment for a short time represent a life full of invasive experiments, campaigners have claimed.
The male and two females escaped from their truck in a parking lot at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, where the male had to undergo a vasectomy on Tuesday afternoon.
They were safely captured by their handlers after a 90-minute distance filmed by shocked bystanders.
Baboons who ran unbridled outside a Sydney hospital (photo) were destined for radical medical experiments and a life sentence
Officials have confirmed that baboons are used for animal testing for research into conditions such as kidney disease and diabetes.
About 300 primates, including baboons, marmosets and macaques, are tested in Australia every year, according to Human Research Australia.
In 2016, horrific reports were published about experiments with primates.
Why do we test on animals?
Animals are used in research when it is necessary to find out what happens in the whole living body, which is much more complex than the sum of the parts.
It is difficult, and in most cases simply not yet possible, to replace the use of live animals in research with alternative methods.
There are four main reasons why animals are used in research:
To increase scientific insight
As models to study disease
Develop and test possible forms of treatment
To protect the safety of people, animals and the environment
A baboon named Conan died after a kidney from a genetically modified pig that had been transplanted to him in 2014, according to Human Research Australia.
The campaign group said that two macaques and two marmosets also died brutally as a result of medical experiments in the last four years.
One macaque was found in a barrel in a pool of blood and the other could not move in its cage, the group said.
One marmoset died of bleeding in her gut in and the other after vomiting clear foamy liquid, according to the campaign group.
There is no suggestion that those animals have the same owner as the escaped baboons.
When the story about Conan was reported by the Sydney Morning Herald in 2016, officials said the use of baboons in experiments saved human lives.
A spokeswoman for the Sydney Local Health District said: “The colony has helped medical researchers to conduct important research that has contributed significantly to paving the way for new treatments for conditions such as pre-eclampsia, complicated diabetes, kidney disease and vascular disease.”
On Tuesday evening Humane Research Australia demanded an end to ‘cruel’ practice.
Human Research Australia CEO Helen Marston said: “Unfortunately, the three trapped baboons will now be locked up for life and subjected to invasive experiments.
“Although the industry is secretly shrouded, much of this research is funded by taxpayers through the National Health and Medical Research Council.”
Police where the baboons escaped in Camperdown in West Sydney. Officers used a tarpaulin to contain the animals before experts from Taronga Zoo arrived
272 baboons, marmosets and macaques were used in experimental procedures in Australia in 2017, which is the latest available statistics.
The experimental baboons are bred in a facility in Wallacia in West Sydney, while the marmosets and macaques are bred in Gippsland in Victoria.
The animals have been subjected to various tests, including radioactive substance testing, pregnancy hypertension and pre-eclampsia, with varying degrees of success.
It was reported that the baboons escaped because the door lock on their truck was defective.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard confirmed to The Daily Telegraph that the escaped baboons in a colony were bred to be used for medical research.
Mr. Hazzard said that baboons are being subjected to various tests to be pioneers in treatments and to improve our knowledge of diseases.
“The research includes reproductive problems, kidney diseases, gestational diabetes, a whole range of research areas and with the conclusion of the research they return to the colony in West Sydney and usually just live their lives into old age.”
He said the 15-year-old male baboon was accompanied by his two wives to keep him comfortable for his vasectomy surgery.
The baboons were recaptured after a distance of 90 minutes. The 15-year-old male baboon was accompanied by his two women to keep him comfortable in the hospital before his vasectomy surgery