PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images
Monday 29 June 2015
Over two dozen monkeys have escaped in Puerto Rico after a lock was broken on
their enclosure at a primate research facility.
Police say that as many as 30 rhesus macaques monkeys were freed yesterday
morning from the Caribbean Primate Research Centre in Toa Baja.
The centre, which was established in the late 1930s, operates in conjunction
with the University of Puerto Rico and supplies monkeys used to study human
The monkeys have been blamed for scavenging crops and damaging natural
resources on the US Caribbean island, resulting the euthanizing of hundreds of
Rhesus macaques, are one of the best known species of Old World monkeys and
often live close to humans. The monkeys have believed to have complex cognitive
abilities and have been involved in studies for a variety of medical
breakthroughs including the development of rabies, small pox, and polio vaccines.
The monkeys' escape has already ignited the interest of
Reddit readers who are referring to the incident as a real life version of
the classic film, Planet of the Apes.
At Least 21 Primates Freed from Laboratory in Puerto Rico
For Immediate Release
July 1, 2015
According to news reports, late Saturday/early Sunday at the Sabana Seca Field
Station of the Caribbean Primate Research Center, a cage was forced open and at
least 21 monkeys were freed. The field station is located in Toa Baja, a town on
the northern coast of Puerto Rico, where Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural and
Environmental Resources estimates that some 550 rhesus monkeys and 200 pata
monkeys live in the wild.
News reports are, of course, claiming the primates are dangerous, infected with
viruses, and are being recaptured. This is not unusual spin orchestrated by the
targeted facilities and their perpetrators of animal abuse.
According to news reports, "The cage's padlock was removed and the chain cut,
allowing about 30 Rhesus monkeys to escape from the CPRC."
Wild monkeys move in bands and some members of the group are always on watch to
alert the rest of the band to danger. When the guards scream their alert, the
band flees from humans with such speed and agility that a casual encounter is
unlikely, according to Carlos Carazo, Puerto Rico’s assistant secretary of
Although they can transmit rabies, Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, and other
infectious agents that can sicken humans, Puerto Rican authorities have no
record of any instance of transmission of viruses from monkeys to humans on the