Retired Lab Chimps Pressed Back Into Service

A San Antonio lab says primate research is necessary for curing diseases like AIDS and hepatitis. But what progress has really been made.

According to Pippin's review of those 12 chimps' necropsy reports, a chimp named Phoebe was euthanized at age 40 "due to lost appetite, weight loss, poor functional status and marked progression of renal failure." She was found to have "progressive renal failure due to diabetes."

Guy was 51 when he was found dead in his den late in the morning of February 3, 2011. Likely cause: Sudden cardiac death.

Candi's heart gave out at age 25 following the "extraction of several broken teeth." No specific cause of death was identified, but Candi was epileptic and had an enlarged liver and pituitary gland.

Ken was one of 14 lab chimps called out of retirement and sent to the Southwest National Primate Research Center.
photo courtesy of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Ken was one of 14 lab chimps called out of retirement and sent to the Southwest National Primate Research Center.
Dr. John Pippin of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine believes the future of AIDS research is in human subjects.
Mark Graham
Dr. John Pippin of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine believes the future of AIDS research is in human subjects.

Angel was euthanized at age 26 due to "an enlarging pelvic mass, prolonged weight loss, muscle wasting and worsening metabolic ­profile."

Although Ken has outlived some of his peers, there is a strong chance that, given his poor health, he won't make it out of his thirties.

In April 2010, before Ken was sent to Southwest, the veterinary staff at the Air Force base wrote that although he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, "Ken's condition is stable. He is being provided with supportive care, his conditions are medically managed and he is being intensively monitored. However, none of these treatments are curative and acute decompensation may occur."

According to the vets, Ken's heart disease ensured a "grave prognosis." That's why the vets issued a do-not-resuscitate order. In the event that Ken's heart gives out, the vets recommended, the most humane thing to do would be to let him die.

craig.malisow@houstonpress.com

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15 comments
judyslove
judyslove

This is truly a tragedy. Testing on primates should be banned and made illegal everywhere. These primates should be released to caring animal sanctuarys that can provide a much needed change of lifestyle for these beautiful and intelligent animals, they have suffered for far too long.

Schitt.Rumpney
Schitt.Rumpney

Now thats a damn shame. If a po-ass monkey got to go back to work after retirement....what thuh...?

celinejoste
celinejoste

Hey people!  Don't be upset by this story.  THE HOUSTON PRESS is known for FAUX NEWS regarding animal abuse.  They did a story a couple of years ago about someone who was slashing cats then letting them out near where they were abducted, so the owners would find them dead.  It was a horrible story.  We called the numbers listed in the what turned out to be fictitious  story and spoke to someone who was supposedly the animal investigator in charge.  She said "wow, we got a lot of response to that story.  I'll call you back."   Of course she never did.  We had informed her that a group of volunteers in the area were willing to go house to house asking if anyone had seen anything suspicious in the way of catnapping going on.  After more investigating the details - turns out the story was BOGUS, just like this one.

stkittchick
stkittchick

That photo ... that gut-wrenching, heartbreaking photo.  An innocent, condemned.  Life in prison, sanctioned torture, all for nothing. Absolutely nothing.  Future generations will look back appalled by what we are doing to these animals.  Take a stand!  Speak out!  Take one minute out of your day to let others know what's going on.

jaspercat
jaspercat

Heaven help you if you catch a case of the hepatits, the primary symptom of which is terrible copy-editing.

 

How many decades will pass before we stop saying that torturing chimpanzees will cure AIDS in humans? This broken record-style approach to prevention, treatment, and a cure has gotten us nowhere, and people and animals have suffered because of it.

ramsey85
ramsey85

Chimpanzees, like all primates, are sensitive, intelligent beings. Beyond the torture and cruelty of being experimented on, they are confined to barren steel cages with no space to move naturally and no environmental enrichment. The testing that's really needed is on the lab workers who can do this to another living being: Where is their empathy?     

thedanimal
thedanimal

"Your money is good — but your questions aren't." - well said

jcmhoutx
jcmhoutx

Even if experiments on animals gave us useful information about human health -- which it doesn't* -- it's simply and unjustifiably cruel to cage thinking, feeling beings and torment them just because we can. After reading on PETA.org about the sickening ways in which primates are tortured and abused at SNPRC, Covance, Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories and other facilities, I will never support any business or charity that funds experiments on animals.  It just wastes money, endangers human health, and inflicts physical and psychological agony on its terrified victims.

 

*Even small physical/genetic differences between species make it impossible to successfully apply results from other animals to humans. For example, no chimpanzee has ever developed AIDS from normal exposure to HIV, despite SNPRC's eagerness to use them for AIDS research. How many "miracle cures" in animals have you heard about that never materialized for humans? And how many drugs that passed animal testing later proved to harm or even kill patients? You can thank experiments on animals for those.

jacknsue
jacknsue

Poor babies, lived in pain all of their life so resource doctors can meet at cocktails and pat each other on the back and brag about what greatness they have accompliced!!

 

 

terryx666
terryx666

@Hungryghoast I watched God Bless America last night and thought of you. It may not have been bleak enough for you, though.

Hungryghoast
Hungryghoast

@terryx666 remember wanting to see that though the plot seemed a little silly.....

terryx666
terryx666

@Hungryghoast I'd say more spotty than silly. In the same vein as Heathers, but with a different twist. On Netflix streaming.

 
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