Research Monkey Escapes

On June 15th, a 2-year-old female macaque was noticed to be †missing from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center Field Station near Atlanta. (Yerkes is associated with Emory University.) The monkey does not harbor any diseases and therefore is not dangerous to people in that way. The macaque on the loose is a wild animal though, and not a pet, so it could bite or scratch, and staying away from the animal has been advised. In their official statement the Yerkes center said, “If you see a monkey, please do not approach it. Call the Yerkes Research Center at 404-727-7732. We will work with Gwinnett Countyís animal control authorities to respond appropriately.” (PETA filed a complaint claiming improper care of primates.)

Macaques are the most commonly used primates at Yerkes and they have been used for research on aging, reproductive biology, biological basis of social behavior, behavioral effects of hormone replacement therapy,† maternal care, malaria, organ transplantation and an experimental HIV/AIDS vaccine. (Macaques are actually the most studied nonhuman primate both in labs and in the field.) GeoVax HIV-1 Vaccine is one of the leading HIV/AIDS vaccine. It was approved by the FDA for use in clinical trials.

They are used extensively in research due to their anatomical and physiological similarity to human primates. Macaques have been used in research studies for many years, and have been studied in a semi-natural state for about seventy years. Their study led to the development of the sociobiology field. Macaques have been used by humans for research because they adapt well to different living conditions and are survivors, for example, infant macaques just two days old can swim.

The Yerkes research facility is about 30 miles north of Atlanta in a wooded area. In 2006 they had about 3,500 primates there and at another location in Atlanta. Five years ago they had a number of sootie mangabeys, which are an endangered African primate. There was some controversy at the time over a proposal to allow them to be experimented upon for an HIV study.

Image Credit: Public Domain.

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Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W4 years ago

Don't test on animals. Test on animal abusers!

Diane L.
Diane L5 years ago

Florence, get a grip. This discussion is over a year old. Do you even have a clue what goes on in a research lab, or are you only reacting to PETA propaganda? The fact you're commenting on such an old discussion makes me wonder just how knowledgeable you are on the topic. Research labs can be doing research on such simple things as how long primates need to sleep or how they react if sleep is interrupted, or any number of myriad other things. They don't all pour acid in the eyes of their subjects or cut off limbs without anesthesia.

Yeah, sure, being ripped apart by a pack of dogs obviously beats the crap out of being fed regularly, given a warm place to sleep and not having to fight for food or worry about predators.

BTW, is it possible for you to post without using the word "HELL" (and it's capitalized) half a dozen or more times?

Florence Eaise
Florence Eaise5 years ago

I hope they never find her, hell i hope they all escape! Dianne L with all due respect any animal in a lab setting used for "research" is in hell! The fact that you "ASSUME" that any animal thats in a control group is treated any better than the others or even treated well is absurd and laughable! Im thinking a life on the run in any setting is a hell of alot better than a medical research lab! Hell even if she did get mauled by a dog its a hell of alot better than living in a lab and being tested on! Ive NEVER seen ANY medical research labs or even Medical Universities that DONT hurt abuse or neglect the animals! Dianne L you shouldnt "ASSUME" that they are treating any animals good! Its just NOT so! thanks for posting! Research animals in medical testing in labs and in Medical universities and you will see

Ida J.
Ida J5 years ago


Diane L.
Diane L6 years ago

Aaaah, another commenter who wants to ASSUME that because a lab says "research" that any animals involved live in HELL. NOWHERE, Candice, has it been said what this primate was used for. She could easily have been part of a control group which was treated VERY WELL, and no chemicals or anything ELSE unnatural given to her or used ON her. I'm thinking "life on the run" in an urban neighborhood can't be good for a primate which either belongs in the jungle, or being take care of by those who know how to do it. She's probably long dead by now, probably mauled by somebody's dog.

Candice L.
Candice L6 years ago

She is no fool - these labs torture all animals.
I agree hopefully she is never found. She deserves to be free. Hopefully she will find her own food and survive somehow. Who wants her to go back to that hell? Hopefully she is okay and most of she is FREE !!!

Diane L.
Diane L6 years ago

Rani, you're still evading the subject....what gives you the idea that her life was a "living HELL"? Nowhere in the article did it say what she did at the lab....what her role was, or what they were researching. She could very easily have been part of a "control" group and given all the luxuries in life a primate might want.

Roaming free in Atlanta, Georgia can't be good for a primate who's natural environment is a jungle, even if it does get HOT there in the summer. Her natural food source wouldn't be available, and she would not have the company of others of her species, either.

I can't believe the rationale of the "good-doers" who would rather see this animal risk death by starvation and avoiding domestic animals, traffic, etc. than be taken care of properly.

Rani K.
Rani K.6 years ago

I hope she is never found. She deserves to be free. Hopefully she will find her own food and survive somehow. Who wants her to go back to that hell? May she be safe and well.

Lisa B.
Elizabeth B6 years ago

I hope she is ok.

Caitlin Fowler
Caitlin F6 years ago

Hope shes ok.