Investigate Escape of Numerous Research Monkeys

rhesus-by-marieke ijsendoorn-kuijper

Target: Tomas J. Vilsack, Secretary of United States Department of Agriculture

Goal: Investigate the research center that monkeys keep escaping from for animal neglect.

Monkeys allegedly escaped from their improperly shut enclosures at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, resulting in injuries to their hands and faces. This is not the first time animals have escaped from the research facility and the Department of Agriculture needs to thoroughly investigate the safety of monkey enclosures and the wellbeing of the animals.

When the locks were not properly latched two cynomologus monkeys reportedly got out of their enclosure and snuck into a connected room, resulting in injuries to lips and fingers that were treated by vets. Only a month later, a rhesus monkey also allegedly managed to open the cage into another room because the lock hadn’t even been used, also resulting in minor injuries to her feet and mouth.

These kind of mistakes can be dangerous for both monkeys and humans. One monkey that reportedly escaped in the past was a breeding female that lived in a large social group but was uncomfortable with humans. She was missing for eleven days, wandering alone in the woods in in an environment both unfamiliar and unsuitable for her species due to an act of negligence that allowed this intelligent animal to release itself. In ten years eight different investigations have been launched into the facility due to complaints and animal escapes.

Monkeys cannot be continually escaping from their captivity at the research center. If the center cannot properly contain and protect their animals they should be removed and relocated. The USDA needs to thoroughly investigate the facility under the Animal Welfare Act and cite them for wrongdoings that allegedly allowed these animals to escape and harm themselves.


Dear USDA Secretary Vilsack,

Research monkeys are allegedly escaping from their improperly closed and protected enclosures, resulting in minor injuries at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. These animals and the circumstances around the numerous escapes need to be thoroughly investigated, and the research center penalized if found negligent.

Four monkeys have reportedly gotten out of their cages, with one getting outside of the facility for eleven days. There have been eight claims and investigations into the treatment and wellbeing of the monkeys, with Wake Forest previously being fined.

If the research facility cannot properly care for and contain their monkeys with something as simple and properly using locks, they should not be in possession of large groups of breeding research animals. Find out what has been going on with the monkeys and help make sure they are getting safe and humane treatment.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Marieke Ijsendoorn-Kuijper

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  1. Investigate

  2. Non-human primates should not be in captivity. Release these monkeys to a sanctuary.

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