Texas Biomed: 55 Gallon Drum Aided Baboon Escape

Officials at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute have determined how four baboons managed to get out of their secure enclosure on Saturday, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

“The enclosure they have been in for about 35 years is built in a circular formation, and the tops of the walls turn inward,” spokeswoman Lisa Cruz said.  “They managed to get a 55 gallon barrel upright, and it was right against the wall.  The natural inclination of these animals is to get to the next highest level.  One animal jumped onto the barrel, then the next highest position would have been to the top of the enclosures.  Once that one animal did it, three others followed.”

Cruz called the incident ‘extremely unusual and challenging for them.’

“This was an extremely unique incident that happened, that they were able to get to the top.”

She says an animal caretaker noticed what had happened and alerted the animal capture team.

Three of the baboons went one way, the fourth actually returned to the enclosure.

Of the four who left the property, one was actually found walking down a nearby residential street.

Cruz says there are some 2500 primates housed at the center, including about 1100 baboons.

“They really aid our scientists in searching for new diagnostics, drug therapies, vaccines, and simply understanding the mechanics of disease,” she said.  “ Baboons, in particular, have played an important role in the discovery of life-saving drugs, therapies and vaccines and have led to greater understanding of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and so much more that impact the lives of millions of people.”

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