is the history of one monkey, #24974, as
recorded by many different workers at the California Regional Primate
Research Center (CRPRC), a National Institutes of Health (NIH)
supported institution. #24974's life was sacrificed in bits and
pieces in the quest for human immortality and in the name of science.
Please don't forget her or the 3,500 other monkeys being held by
CRPRC. Speak out. Special thanks to Derek Polley for sending us
this report and not giving up on her.
#24974 was born on May 21, 1989. Her mother was #21907. They were
rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta.)
On May 21, #24974 was examined for the first time. A "Neonatal
Monitoring Session" and a "Newborn Behavioral Test"
were administered. She weighed .833 kg.
#24974 weighed .39 kg on May 26.
On August 29, 1989 she had 3 cc of blood taken and was given a "prewean"
physical examination. #24974 weighed .65 kg.
On September 5, 1989 she was sent to "Therapeutics" where
she was examined again. Her spleen/lymphnodes were reported to be
"abnormal," she had partial hair loss on the top of her
head. Her overall condition was reported as "good," and
she was approved for weaning [removal from her mother]. She was
108 days old and weighed .692 kg. [In normal situations, such young
infants are still being carried tightly against their mother"s
abdomen and are not yet ready even to begin riding on her back.]
September 6, 1989: #24974 was reported as "quiet" and
"8% dehydrated." She was given Pedialyte, a commercial
oral fluid given to human children for the dehydration associated
The next day, September 7, someone else recorded her disposition
as "depressed" and "8%-10% dehydraded." Her
temperature was 95 degrees, she was administered Pedialyte again,
and given a salt solution. She was moved to a "hospital cage"
and placed with two "partially adapted weanlings."
September 8: She was offered Tang and Pedialyte soaked biscuits.
She was reported as having "some attitude improvement, improved
ambulation." She was offered some fruit.
The Tang/Pedialyte/Biscuit treatment was continued through September
11. She weighed .628 kg. She was sent back to a regular cage. She
had a cage-mate.
On September 13, 1989, she was reported to have a "poor appetite,"
being "depressed," "quiet" and as "maladaptive."
She had diarrhea. She was given dextrose, and was "force-fed."
The notation in her record suggests that she had become ill due
to "exposure to cage-mate." She was given an antibiotic
injection. A lab report showed she was infected with Campylobactor
coli, a bacterial infection of the intestine.
On September 14, she was reported as being "quiet" with
"marginal hydration" and was moved back to a "hospital
cage" as "a companion for a weak infant."
September 15: "Will not eat when offered formula by bottle."
"Maladaption possible." She was fed with a stomach tube.
According to the entry, her treatment was complicated by the "possible
enteric pathogen," the Campylobactor coli. A note was made
for nursery staff to offer her Enfamil [infant formula] every two
Later in the day, she was reported to be "depressed."
Her cage mate was moved back to his or her own mother. Someone ordered
that #24974 be moved back to her own cage with the suggestion that
nursery staff supplement her diet with the Enfamil every 2 hours.
She weighed .672 kg.
September 16: "Drinking Tang on his own (sic)" 5% dehydrated;
weight improved but still low; stronger; ate biscuit placed in [cheek]
pouch. Won"t supplement [with] fluids since drinking Tang on
it"s own . . ." (sic) "Discontinue Enfamil feeding
since "fights" drinking from bottle. Request nursery techs
to place soaked biscuits in mouth/cheek pouch 4-5x/day."
September 17: "Nibbling @ food. . . . food in cheek pouch;
wt [up] but still less than weaning wt of 0.692. Improvement but
still not ready to move to BB. Cont to encourage to eat."
September 18: "Marginal hydration. Food in cheek pouches. .
. . watched him eat biscuits." (sic)
September 19: "Subdued but alert . . . Food in cheek pouches.
Dermatitis on belly and knees. Give bath on 9/20 with Betadine.
September 20: "Subdued. Dehydration (5%). Due to declining
health will move to 1407."
An entry in a new and unique handwriting, later that day, "Loves
banana & apple, eating it all."
September 21: "0-5-8% dehydrated. Being given only Tang. Consider
September 22: "Vocalizing." Dehydrated. "Attitude,
hydration improved from 2/21. Continue to monitor." #24974
weighs .666 kg.
She is now four months old.
September 26: "Paired with 25103."
September 27: "Repaired with 25106."
On September 28, she was given a bath in an attempt to control the
dermatitis that had now spread to her back. Her weight had improved
and her appetite was reported to be fair to good. She weighed .682
September 30: ""rash on chest"dehydrated"has
lost weight since housed alone"dehydrated"consider pairing."
October 1: "Rash clearing up."
October 2: "More stable now that she"s paired." A
further entry during the day: "Borderline hydration; stomach
full. Stable. Since eating, won"t give fluids for borderline
hydration status, but monitor closely."
On October 5, her weight was up to .724 kg. She was given a bath
and was reported as showing "improvement."
Over the next week her appetite remained "fair." On October
12, she was paired with #25024.
October 13: "4th finger on [left] hand purple." She was
examined and no injury to her finger was identified. The condition
of her finger was diagnosed as "due to sucking on finger."
By October 24, her weight was up to 964 kg. She was reported as
being "slightly dehydrated."
On October 31, she is reported to be in good health except for the
hair loss on her head. The Campylobactor is determined to be "asymptomatic"
based on the firm consistency of her stool.
November 1: "Paired with #25041."
On November 6, she was moved again; and moved again on November
January 22, 1990: she was moved again. [She is eight months old.]
On February 8, 1990, she was immobilized with Ketamine for the first
of very many times and given a measles vaccination. She now weighed
On March 22, she was immobilized with Ketamine and administered
Ivermectin, a general intestinal parasite medication.
[On May 21, 1990 she turned one year old.]
On April 5, she was again immobilized with Ketamine and given another
dose of Ivermectin and given a "shampoo."
August 1: #24974 is moved to a new cage. She was moved again on
September 21: "To Hosp. General Trauma." Later that day
she is immobilized with Ketamine and examined. She weighs 2.41 kg.
Her pulse is strong. Her temperature is 101 F. She is described
as "lean." She has a wound to her left palm, a small wound
on her right foot, and a puncture wound to her right forearm. It
is noted that she has scars from previous wounds. She is given a
September 22: It is discovered that the main wound on her left palm
is "co#nicating" with another wound on her hand. The wounds
were cleaned and dressed.
The wounds continued to be treated through September 30, and on
October 1, she was moved from a "hospital cage" back to
a regular cage.
From October 1, 1990, through July 17, 1992 her record is generally
quiet except for being immobilized with Ketamine on six different
occasions and receiving a tetanus vaccination.
[On May 21, 1991, she turned two years old.]
[On May 21, 1992, she turned three years old.]
July 18, 1992: "To hosp. general trauma." The record is
difficult to read due to a poor copy, caused perhaps, by having
been written in light-colored ink. What is clear is that #24974
was severely injured. She had wounds to both hands and feet. Her
hands were swollen and some of the bones had been broken. X-rays
revealed previous and apparently undiagnosed fractures. At least
one finger was amputated.
August 2: "The bd was removed from the hand and the suture
line was intact on [dorsal surface] of the [right] hand. [The third
finger] did not appear to be as swollen as it had seen before. The
hand was washed"to clean off the dried blood. Monitor the animal
over the rest of the weekend to see if the monkey is pulling the
sutures out. If not then it looks good for a discharge on 8/3."
August 4: "Perfect use of the hand. Discharge tomorrow."
August 5: "Returned to home cage."
Between August 5, 1992 and June 23, 1993 only three entries are
recorded. Each time she is restrained with Ketamine and weighed.
On February 1, 1993, she was reported to be "eating gravel."
[On May 21, 1993, she turned four years old.]
June 24, 1993: "Trauma to rt. hand; flap wound to rt. hip.
Move to hosp."
June 24, at the "hospital" after being immobilized with
Ketamine: "Right hip flap wound with fibrous exudates. Wound
edges necrotic, fibrotic. . . . Scrubbed & prepped with Betadine/alcohol.
Trimmed away necrotic flap. Cleaned laceration on left hand."
The wounds were dressed and the comment made: "Check left hand
[fourth digit] wound daily." She weighed 6.38 kg. She was described
as lean and well-muscled. No explanation was offered for the right/left
#24974 was returned to her home cage on June 28.
#24974 continued to be immobilized with Ketamine, examined and weighed
over the next months. On October 4, she weighed 6.75 kg.
On December 7, 1993, she was treated for a laceration between the
fourth and fifth toes of her left foot. She had the wound sutured
and was returned to her home cage. She also received an ultrasound.
The results were negative.
On April 1, 1994 she was reported to have suffered a trauma to her
right breast. There was reported to be "redness and some infection."
She was sent back to the "hospital."
Her weight was up to 8.04 kg, her general body condition was recorded
as "good," her temperature was 102.2 F. She had a pus-filled
wound next to her nipple; another wound to one of her wrists was
sutured shut. A drain was sutured into the wound on her breast with
the directions that it should be flushed daily. She was bandaged
and placed in a "jacket" to keep her from pulling out
the drain and stitches in her chest.
On April 4, the drain was removed.
On April 5 when the bandages were removed to clean the wound, it
was noted that the wound had "dehisced," or opened on
the right side and that it was still oozing pus, but only minimally.
Dead tissue was removed. Antibiotic ointment was applied, the wound
was dressed and she was placed back in the jacket.
April 6: The wound was cleaned again, and no pus could be expressed
by squeezing on the wound. Every time she is examined she is immobilized
On April 7, it was discovered that the bacteria infecting her wound
was resistant to the antibiotic she had been receiving.
A change in antibiotics was made, and on April 8, it was noted that
she seemed to be improving though some pus could still be expressed.
The wound was flushed, ointment applied, the bandage was not replaced.
On April 13, 1994, she was discharged and sent back to her home
She continued to be periodically immobilized, examined, and weighed.
[On May 21, 1994, she turned five years old.]
January 5, 1995: "Laceration to hip. To hospital." Later
that day: "Flap wound over left hip fresh. Shaved and flushed
liberally" sutured, animal returned to home cage""
February 19, 1995: "To hospital. Flap wound right posterior."
Later that day: "0.9 ml Ketamine; small flap wound @ tail base
on [right] side. Removed flap as tissue appeared to be dead. Other
tissue healthy and bleeding. Small punctures x2 on [right] hip.
Flushed. Two sutures removed from old hip flap wound. Small amount
of pus squeezed from suture line but other" area"
February 2: Her wounds were cleaned. Treatment continues throughout
the next weeks.
February 23, 1995: "Suture line just to the right of the tail
base is moist but it appears that some of the sutures may be holding."
February 27: "Wound healed. Removed suture. Discharge 2/28."
February 29: "Returned to home cage."
On March 7, 1995 #24974 became a mother -- gave birth to #28635,
another monkey born to suffer at our hands.
March 28: "To hospital; Flap wound on back. With infant 28635."
#24974 weighed 7.55 kg at this examination. "Old, rectangular
flap wound (4.0 cm long X 2.0 cm high) just cranial to tail base.
Skin flap still present but dry, purple and nonviable. Flap removed
with scalpel." the wound was electro-cauterized.
March 31: "Healing tail-base wound; flap wound on right thigh
will probably heal ""
She continued to receive treatment for her wounds until April 10,
when she was returned to her home cage. No mention is ever made
again of her child.
September 26, 1995: #24974 was sent to the hospital for "tail
trauma" she received during "round-up." "The
top portion of her sex skin is very dirty, bloody and torn. No other
September 27: "0.8 cc Ketamine to examine; removed bandage
which contained a lot of [red] drainage from wound. Wound emitted
a strong malodorous scent associated with tissue; has an area of
discoloration similar to necrosis."
September 28: "" noted discolored tissue seemingly appearing
September 29: "OK to discharge as soon as tail adequately healed."
October 2: "Assess for skin graft."
October 10: "Harvested split thickness graft from lateral left
thigh and placed on granuloma bed [tail wound]. Rebandaged."
October 12: "90% of larger graft has taken."
October 16: "Bandage graft has taken well."
October 19: "Grafted skin looks good."
October 23: "Returned to home cage." She had also had
her canine teeth blunted during this stay at the hospital.
December 21, 1995 "To hospital; flap wound." Later that
day she is examined. Her general body condition is described as
"thin." She has moderate gingivitis and calculus. She
weighs 7.3 kg. "Gave 0.7 cc Ketamine. Large laceration flap
to right lateral abdomen; fresh, fairly clean; still bleeding. Cleaned
thoroughly with Betadine and saline". Old flap on dorsal aspect
of tail base is contracted, but large and creating an exposed pocket
of granulation tissue. Cleaned with DNS". Small old flap on
tail base needs trimming to prevent further trauma."
December 22: Both wounds treated.
She continued to have her wounds treated until she was sent back
to her home cage on January 2, 1996.
January 22, 1996. #24974 is now almost six-and-a-half years old.
She was taken from her mother far too early and suffered depression
and a failure to thrive that required medical intervention. She
seems to have been individually housed often when very young --
a stressor known to adversely affect the emotional health of monkeys.
She has had one child whose disposition is unknown. During the six-and-a
half years that she has been a prisoner of the California Regional
Primate Research Center other monkeys have repeatedly injured her.
She has suffered repeated cuts and abrasions. She has had fingers
amputated and had skin grafts. Often, the animal "care"
staff did not notice the injuries until the flesh around her wounds
began to rot. Her repeated violent interactions with other monkeys
have been largely due to the failure of CRPRC to maintain the intact
social groups typical and necessary in rhesus society.
But, for this initial maturing period, she had not been subjected
to the curiosities of the vivisecting staff, and that curiosity
was the sole reason that any veterinary care was ever provided to
her to have her ready.
On January 22, 1996, the entry in her records reads: "US preg
[check mark] [followed by a circled P] PGA: 55 days. R/C taken.
Harvest to THPAD. Moved to THPAD."
Apparently, #24974 had been assigned to a study to produce fetuses.
An ultrasound [US] had determined that she was 55 days pregnant.
April 4: "C-section performed this A.M. Infant moved to [unclear]
for study. Mother returned to 1406-89."
May 5: She is immobilized with Ketamine and given a "dental."
She weighs 6.11 kg.
May 21: "Reported to be vomiting. Unconfirmed." [She turned
seven on this day.]
September 6, 1996: Another "dental." She weighs 5.88 kg.
September 8: "Reported heavy menses."
November 11: Another ultrasound showed that she was again pregnant.
November 22 : She is estimated to be 28 days pregnant. Since November
6, she has had blood taken on five occasions.
Throughout this pregnancy she is being bled every two to three days.
Also, on the November 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, December 3, 6,
9, 15, 16, 18, 21, 24, 27, and 30, the entry in her record indicates
that she is receiving the experimental injection "BIRR-4, 6.0
mg/kg SQ SID." BIRR-4 is likely an experimental "common
cold" medicine produced by Gilead Sciences, Inc. in Foster
On January 31, 1997 #24974 has her 100 day old fetus "excised"
in a procedure termed "Fetectomy."
On February 3, her sutures seem to be holding and she is returned
to her home cage.
May 6: She is given a dental exam.
[On May 21, 1997, she turned eight years old.]
June 6: She has another ultrasound examination. She is pregnant.
Beginning on June 8, #24974 is injected every day with the experimental
drug: (R)-9-(2-phosphonylmethoxypropyl) adenine (PMPA). This continues
through October 16. During the four months, she is periodically
examined by ultrasound, and has blood taken. PMPA is also called
Tenofovir. It is manufactured by Gilead Sciences, Inc. in Foster
On October 16, she has another "Fetectomy," and her fetus
is "excised." She weighs 6.95 kg.
On October 17, she was moved back to her home cage.
October 20: "Reported heavy menses, poor appetite and no stool.
Able to confirm heavy menses and poor appetite. First report of
heavy menses. Large spots of fresh & clotted blood under cage
as well as left over cookies."
October 21: "All sutures intact. Incision is clean & dry.
Incision healing well."
October 29: Ketamine, blood drawn, ultrasound.
November 14: Ketamine, blood drawn, ultrasound.
November 20: "Progressive wt loss over the last 5 of [unclear]
.7 kg.; recent fetectomy appears lean & [unclear] but very active."
She weighs 6.34 kg.
December 2, 1997: Another ultrasound. More blood taken.
January 7, 1998: "Hvy menses conf."
January 8: "1.0 cc ket. Dental."
February 7, "" rept foot trauma small laceration
between D4 & D5 [right] foot. Animal scheduled for breeding
today poss breeding trauma""
March 9, 1998: More blood taken.
March 12: Ketamine, ultrasound, blood sample.
March 19: Ketamine, ultrasound, blood sample.
April 8: Ketamine, ultrasound, blood sample.
April 22, 1998. #24974 is given another ultrasound. Her developing
fetus is apparently at the appropriate stage of development for
experimental infection with simian i#novirus (SIV). The entry reads
in part, "Fetal SIV MAC 251 INOC"" SIVmac 251 is
the name given to one of the hundreds of SIV strains developed through
the massive monkey infection and re-infection programs funded by
From April 22, to May 29, she is immobilized with Ketamine, given
an ultrasound examination and has blood taken on six occasions.
On May 27, she weighs 7.19 kg.
[On May 21, 1998, she turned nine years old.]
On May 29, the daily injections of PMPA begin again and continue
through July 24. On June 8, she was reported to be mildly anemic.
Throughout this period she is immobilized with Ketamine, given an
ultrasound examination and has blood taken repeatedly.
On July 27, she has another "Fetectomy." This time the
fetus is reported to be a "live" birth. The actual entry
reads, "PREGNANCY TERMINATION: LIVE NON-VAGINAL-EXPERIMENTAL""
July 29: "Reported for poor appetite. Seven (7) left over cookies
in cage some nibbled but eating supplements (sunflower seeds). Monitor
On September 18, #24974 weighs 6.55 kg. "Reported for poor
appetite. Confirmed. 17 left over cookies. Eating some cookies and
seeds. Losing wt. Monitor appetite closely. If persists offer supplements."
October 12: She weighs 6.45 kg.
On October 15, a protocol is approved by the Animal Care and Use
Committee of the CRPRC. The protocol is titled, "Monkey Model
for In Utero Gene Therapy." A brief description is provided
on the title page: "These studies focus on transferring genes
into fetal monkeys in vivo. Studies include collection of fetal/maternal
samples during gestation, delivering newborns by cesarean-section
at term, collection of infant blood and bone marrow monthly, and
necropsy for a complete tissue harvest at 3 months postnatal age."
The protocol goes on to explain what is in store for the 88 monkeys
they will experiment on throughout the study. On page 7, Part K,
the question is posed: "At what point in the study, if any,
will the animals be euthanized"" to which the scientist
responds, " Infants will be euthanized at approximately 3 months
of age. The dams cannot be returned to the colony because the fetuses
will be injected with retroviral vectors. Thus, the dams will either
be euthanized if significant transfer of the vectors from the fetus
is detected, or re-bred and used for other reproductive studies
if no transfer is detected."
#24974 is assigned to the study.
October 28: "Heavy menses this AM."
November 27: "Heavy menses, not effecting appetite (sic), achieving
level, No apparent discomfort."
November 30: Ultrasound negative.
December 30: Ketamine, blood taken, ultrasound positive.
January 11, 1999: Ketamine, blood taken, ultrasound positive. She
weighs 6.77 kg.
January 19: Ketamine, blood taken, ultrasound positive.
January 27: Ketamine, blood taken, ultrasound positive.
February 5: Ketamine, blood taken, ultrasound positive.
On February 7, #24974 is reported to have "liquid stool."
February 9: Ketamine, blood taken, ultrasound positive. "Gene
transfer IP (MLV [unclear]." MLV is the murine (mouse) leukemia
viral vector. According to the protocol, the MLV is injected directly
into the fetus, apparently intraperitoneally (IP), or directly into
his or her abdomen.
February 10: Ketamine, blood taken, ultrasound positive. The entry
notes that after three days of diarrhea, some action should be taken,
though exactly what is unclear, "Ask perm R/C [unclear] SS".
February 12: Ketamine, blood taken, ultrasound positive.
February 16: Ketamine, ultrasound positive.
February 19: Ketamine, blood taken, ultrasound positive.
February 22: "" rept liq stool".
February 23: "" rept liquid stool 2nd recent rept "
monitor for persistence." Ketamine, ultrasound positive.
February 26: "" rept of liq stool; intermittent recent
repts. PC corrected (2/12). rept poor appetite 1st rept. contact
[unclear] lab regarding RC, monitor." Ketamine, blood taken,
February 27: "RC (2/12) negative; monitor."
March 4: Ketamine, ultrasound positive.
March 8: Ketamine, ultrasound positive.
March 10: "" re liquid stool -- confirmed."
March 11: "" re liquid stool -- confirmed"
March 12: "4 half-eaten biscuits in cage, "good hydration
liquid stool present."
March 13: "Re: " liqd stl. Confirmed. " if liqd stl
March 14: "Re: " liqd stl, vomit. Cage recently cleaned.
P: R/C, SS not warranted, notify vet staff about emesis [vomiting].
March 17: Ketamine, blood taken, ultrasound positive. She weighs
March 19: #24974 still has diarrhea. It seems to come and go. The
suggestion is made that a stool sample be taken if the loose stool
March 22: Ketamine, ultrasound positive.
March 24: The intermittent diarrhea continues.
March 30: Ketamine, blood taken, ultrasound positive. The intermittent
March 31: The diarrhea continues. Orders are written to notify the
vet staff if her weight declines. But, her weight has not been recorded
since March 17, and will not be noted again until April 27.
April 5: Ketamine, ultrasound positive.
April 9: The diarrhea continues. She is reported to have a poor
April 15: Ketamine, ultrasound positive.
April 19: Ketamine, ultrasound positive. The diarrhea is "persistent."
On April 20, her appetite is poor; they consider dietary supplements.
On April 26, she is eating a bit. She is reported to have a "good"
attitude. They suggest she be given fruit and peanuts for the next
two weeks. She is scheduled to be examined by the PI the next day.
[PI: primary investigator, the primary recipient of the money being
spent to experiment on her.]
April 27. Ketamine, blood taken, ultrasound positive. The diarrhea
continues. She weighs 6.76 kg.
April 28: She is nibbling some of the fruit and peanuts.
May 5: Ketamine, blood taken, ultrasound positive. The diarrhea
May 8: "Eyes slightly sunken." The diarrhea continues.
On May 9, a notation is made that no medicine for the diarrhea will
be given because of the pregnancy.
May 14: Ketamine, blood taken, ultrasound positive. The diarrhea
May 16: "Eats fruit only."
On May 18: #24974 undergoes a Caesarian-section. Her baby is dead.
On May 19 she is reported to have a poor appetite, to be weak, to
have diarrhea, and to be "Very bright."
May 20: #24974 continues to have a poor appetite, she is reported
to be depressed, to be scratching at her sutures, and to have liquid
stool. The entry says, in part, "Attitude is typical for this
animal". notify investigator of care staff"s concerns."
On May 21, 1999, #24974 celebrated her tenth birthday all alone
but for the occasional human. On May 21, 1999, at 2:00 P.M., workers
at the California Regional Primate Research Center, a part of the
University of California - Davis, killed her. She weighed 5.24 kg.
She was suffering from SIV, colitis, and splenic lymphoid hyperplasia
at the time of her death.
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