is a crab-eating macaque; a Macaca fascicularis in the jargon
of taxonomy. A cynomolgus monkey, in the jargon of biomedical research
was captured in the wild. The day he was caught was the last day
he was free to swim, climb, explore crab burrows, socialize, or
otherwise behave like a normal crab-eating macaque.
Crab-eating macaques, as their common name implies, often live and
forage for food near rivers and coastlines. They feed on fruit and
various plant matter, crabs, mollusks, and other small animals exposed
during low tide. These monkeys commonly reach into burrows and pull
out the crabs and other animals they find inside. They have a fondness
for water and can often be seen swimming and diving. They are common
in mangrove swamps throughout Southeast Asia. In Bali, they frequent
temples and are offered food by the Balinese who regard them as
Crab-eating macaques live in groups of 20 to 60 individuals. Females
generally spend their entire life in the group into which they are
born. Males move to new groups as they mature. Macaques are well
recognized as living in complex political social hierarchies. They
are highly intelligent and are the frequent subjects of brain experiments
precisely because their brains, minds, and emotions seem so humanlike.
25205 arrived in Davis, California, at the California Regional Primate
Research Center (CRPRC) on January 31, 1990. CRPRC seems to have
estimated he was about two years old. He had probably not yet left
his natal group when he was captured.
On February 5, 1990 he was injected for the first of over forty
times with Ketamine. Ketamine causes hallucinations as well as a
burning sensation when injected.
The principal effects are the result of the drug crossing the
blood brain barrier, to bind with receptors in the brain. Muscle
tone increases. Heart and pulse rate increase. The drug can cause
hallucinations, both visual and auditory. The user appears numbed
to the outside world. Awareness, although altered, may only be partial.
Auditory perception is said to be narrowed. The ability to respond
may be limited by muscle spasm and rigidity. The user may appear
sedated, if not disturbed by the effects of the drug. Nausea and
vomiting may occur. Some degree of paralysis can occur. The effects
of the drug may be dependent on environmental factors.
Ketamine use is associated with flashbacks and other psychological
problems, which become more frequent with long-term use. Memory
loss and dysfunction are common. The development of psychotic illness
in vulnerable users is a real danger.
Ketamine can be a very unpleasant drug. It is contraindicated for
anyone with a medical history of heart disease, high blood pressure
and mental illness.
He was tattooed, given a physical examination they noted
that he had small testicles had blood drawn, and had a stool
After being wormed and immobilized with Ketamine on nine occasions,
he was released from quarantine on July 31.
On August 20 they treated him for malaria.
25205 is a monkey who (as of August 22, 2000, when our records for
him stop) is never used in one of the macabre or gruesome experiments
so common at CRPRC and in other primate labs. In this respect, he
has been lucky. On the other hand, his records paint a vivid picture
of what daily life is like for a monkey at CRPRC.
On October 10, 1990, they noticed that he had a small wound on his
On October 17, they noted that 25205 had a bloody nasal discharge.
On January 14, 1991, it was noted that he had another cut on a finger
of his right hand.
It appears, from 25205s records, that he has never been housed
with another monkey. He has been alone now, save for the occasional
visits by the humans peering into his cage, for just about a year.
On April 2, someone reports that 25205 has been vomiting. He has
been fed almost entirely on monkey chow. The crabs, wild fruit,
and other things he used to eat are now simply memories in his dreams
perhaps. No longer is he searching the burrows and scampering through
the trees looking for food. Now food is placed in his barren cage
within easy reach every day. 25205 doesnt have much to do.
On the 22nd of June, someone notices that part of the pad on his
right hand is missing and that he is holding his hand in a guarded
On September 13, he is reported to be vomiting again.
On November 27, 1991, he is reported to be having liquid stools.
On January 5, 1992, after about two years at CRPRC he is reported
as being depressed, dehydrated, and having diarrhea.
On March 29, he is reported to be vomiting again and to be having
intermittent bouts of diarrhea.
On June 2, his rectum prolapsed.
As with all the above maladies, CRPRC personnel provided basic medical
care. They often dont know why he is vomiting or has diarrhea
or why his rectum prolapsed, but they do try and treat his symptoms.
This, of course, begs the question: if they do not know what is
making 25205 ill, if his health is beyond their expertise, his biology
beyond their ken, how is it that they can claim to be using monkeys
as models of human disease? But this report is about 25205s
life. The question of the scientific validity of animal models of
human disease does not belong in his story.
On October 24, he is reported to have an abrasion on a finger of
his left hand.
On November 29, he is sneezing, reported to be in excellent
condition, and perhaps to have an upper respiratory infection.
An odd entry is made in his record on January 27, 1993: Chaired
w/06986 PCP 01. Exactly what this might mean is subject to
speculation since CRPRC is unlikely to say.
Also odd is that the next entry is for January 26. This one notes:
.5cc Ket. Collared for project PCP [unclear] And the
very next entry, for January 27, says: Electroejaculation
A pole and collar system is a not uncommon method used to move monkeys
who are repeatedly moved, who the staff does not wish to take the
time to train (some monkeys are trained to move from one location
to another), and who, for some reason they do not want to anesthetize
regularly. Basically, a collar is affixed to the monkey. When it
is time to move him or her, a pole is attached to the collar from
a distance. This allows the monkey to be moved without touching
him or her and offers enough distance that the monkey is unable
to reach their tormentor.
A primate chair is essentially the chair they are strapped into
while being experimented on.
Electroejaculation is a process of shocking the penis in the hopes
that the monkey will ejaculate. In this case, the (-)
might mean that shocking 25205s penis did not result in an
Recently, researchers at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center
were caught on videotape electroejaculating a monkey there. This
undercover video has resulted in public denouncements of the practice
by Jane Goodall and others, it resulted in the animal care manager
leaving his job, and pointed questions from members of the Oregon
State Legislature. Apparently, official reports of the practice
weigh less heavily than undercover video aired on T.V.
25205 is part of a study on contraception (Protocol # 8051). The
cynomolgus monkey was chosen for these types of studies
because of its size, lack of seasonality and its
similarity to humans in many aspects of reproductive function.
The Primate Testing Facility is a contract supported by
NICHD [National Institute of Child Health and Human Development,
a part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health] and
the terms of the contract request a maximum of 216 animals
available for contraceptive testing.
In any event, the entry of January 27, 1993, is the only one referring
to electroejaculation in the records reviewed for 25205.
The electroejaculation came almost precisely on 25205s third
anniversary at CRPRC.
On February 9, an entry says that 25205 has been reported for dehydration
again, but that he may just naturally appear to be dehydrated due
to his dark eyes and skin.
On February 21, he is seen again for a wound to his right hand.
On March 5, he is reported to have loose stool again.
In almost every entry through June 19, 25205 is reported to have loose
stool, stool partially liquid, or liquid stool.
On the 19th, he is reported to be vomiting as well.
July 2: depression. Not confirmed.
July 29: Variable stool and vomit confirmed.
This continues throughout the rest of the year. And on February 2,
1994, he is reported to be depressed.
On March 30 1994, 25205 is tattooed again.
On April 4, the entry notes that a tech had reported that 25205 had
lacerations on his left arm. The person making the entry says that
these wounds seem old and superficial, and that there was not any
On May 11, he is seen again for another wound to his left hand.
On September 11, this entry appears: .6cc Ket. Abrasion to (L)
forearm. Animal may have gnawed himself. Wound was very superficial
& old, was already scabbing over. Shaved area cleaned wound w/DNS
& applied granulex. Monitor healing. Should heal fine by itself.
On September 12, it is noted that he is vomiting.
On November 2, he is again treated for wounds to his left arm. It
is noted that he has a history of wounding in this area. They note
that he still has his canine teeth and that this may lead to
problems. They request that his canine teeth be cut down and
suggest that research services be notified of 25205s possible
Stereotypic behavior is behavior believed to be outside the norm for
caged animals. It is a problem in the primate labs of epidemic proportion.
One study at the New England Regional Primate Research Center reported
that ten percent of the monkeys at that institution (a part of Harvard
University) injured themselves severely enough as to require veterinary
intervention. [M. A. Novak, J. H. Kinsey, M. J. Jorgensen, T. J. Hazen.1998.
Effects of puzzle feeders on pathological behavior in individually
housed rhesus monkeys. American Journal of Primatology ;46(3):213-27.]
Stereotypic behaviors include self-biting and other self-mutilations,
bizarre movements such as endless twirling and jumping and the repetitive
pacing common in many caged animals. In the Oregon undercover video
a very young isolated monkey is curled into a ball sucking his penis.
Interestingly, researchers variously claim that the causes of such
behavior are largely unknown; while others claim that most such behaviors
are eliminated when monkeys are able to touch one another. These behaviors
are essentially unknown among wild or group-housed primates. Only
the primate research laboratories are unable to make the logical inference:
primates caged alone go insane.
On November 26, 1994, 25205 is seen for another wound. This time a
small wound on the tip of the second finger of his right hand.
On December 7, he is reported to be vomiting again.
December 29: Reported for self-trauma to (L) forearm. .7cc ket.
Traumatic lacerations to both forearms. (L) forearm has small 1&Mac218;2
cm full-thickness skin laceration not involving underlying
muscle. Cleaned and sutured
surrounding tissue has multiple bruises
and contusions. (R) forearm has ~ 1cm full-thickness skin laceration
with minor trauma to underlying muscle. Cleaned and sutured
for future evidence of self-trauma.
The following day it is noted that the sutures have been pulled out
and the bandages are gone. But, the wounds seem to be healing
well. [An overnight miracle?]
On January 2, it is noted that both arms seem to still be healing
but that right arms suture site is swollen and appears moist.
On January 30, 1995, 25205s five year anniversary at CRPRC,
he is reported to have mild abrasions on his right hand.
On February 7, his stool is again noted to be of varied consistency.
On April 6, they performed a pulpotomy on his upper canine
teeth and blunted his lower canines.
On April 17, he was reported again for self-trauma to
his left arm. He had been biting his arm near his wrist.
Entries through April 24 note that the wound is healing well.
On May 21, he is treated again for a new wound to his left forearm.
On the following day, 25205 is anesthetized for a tuberculosis test.
The wound on his arm is treated. A sore is discovered under the collar
he has apparently had on for over two years. The entry notes: Had
sore on neck from too tight collar. Collar removed.
Treatment continues for the wound on his arm. On May 26, it is noted
that the wound has fresh blood on it and that he seems to have been
biting himself again. Throughout this time, the wound was being treated
with the common wound dressing, Granulex. It is suggested that the
Granulex may be irritating the wound and maybe thats why he
continues to chew on himself. They switch to aloe vera.
25205 licks off the aloe vera.
The wound continues to be treated with aloe vera spray. On June 5,
it is noted that the wound has nearly healed and that the skin has
grown in well.
On June 22, he is reported to have reopened an old wound on the tip
of a finger of his right hand.
On October 26, he is reported to be vomiting again.
On November 14, 25205 has diarrhea again. And again on April 19, 1996.
And on April 22. And then, on April 23, his stool is reported to me
scant, very bloody and with mucus.
On November 24, it is reported that no parasites can be found.
On June 13, he has loose stool again. This continues through the 21st
when he is again reported to be vomiting.
Every entry through August 16 comments on his loose stool. Many tests
are run and nothing is diagnosed.
On September 28, he is again seen for self-inflicted trauma: Abrasions,
bruising, and inflammation of (L) proximal forearm self-inflicted.
The wound is treated.
October 3, 1996: Noted recent trauma to both arms most noticeable
on the (L) forearm. Continue to monitor. If new trauma is observed
reassess. Also notify enrichment coordinator.
October 8. He is reported to have liquid stool. Minor trauma to his
left forearm is again noted. On October 9, he is vomiting again.
On October 14, an entry says that his wounds are healing well, and
that his diarrhea is self-limiting. He is discharged from medical
November 2, and he is again vomiting.
On January 22, he again is reported to have liquid stool.
It is noted on January 28 that his diarrhea is persistent. More lab
tests come back negative.
On January 30, 1997, after seven years at CRPRC, the entry reads,
The diarrhea persists. On February 7, 1997 someone enters the comment,
On June 16, 25205 is again seen and treated for wounds to both forearms.
They are described as superficial contusions and abrasions.
June 24: Rept. for arm trauma. The trauma was observed on the
(R) arm and was superficial & did not appear inflamed or infected
animal has [history] of self-trauma to arms. Notify enrichment coordinator.
Monitor closely. Assess for anti-anxiety [medication].
On July 10, 25205s teeth are again cut down as a
cure for his self-biting.
On July 23, he again is reported for loose stool and vomiting.
The loose stool persists, more negative lab tests, more monitoring.
October 11: reported arm trauma confirmed. 1 small puncture
wound to (L) medial proximal forearm. No redness, bleeding or swelling.
Observed grooming arm. Possible self-trauma to arm. Monitor.
October 15. Liquid stool confirmed.
More diarrhea throughout the rest of the month. On October 30, they
start treating 25205 with Flagyl (Metronidazole), a common medicine
for various gastric parasites.
On November 2, he is vomiting again.
On November 4, there is no sign of diarrhea and on November 9, the
notation is made: Resolved diarrhea.
November 17. Reported for liquid stool.
On November 24, 25205 is reported to have a poor appetite.
On January 7, the liquid stool is continuing and he is vomiting again.
A note is made that should the liquid stool persist, that some should
be collected and sent to the lab, and that he should be monitored
for more vomiting, and that, if his condition remains the same, a
referral should be made to the vet.
The diarrhea continues. On January 20, 1998, the notation is made
that the diarrhea is nonpathogenic and that the he should
continue to be monitored.
On January 22, someone suggests that they try anti-inflammatory steroids
if the condition persists.
The liquid stool persists intermittently throughout the ensuing months.
25205 continues to vomit occasionally. On June 15, 1998, and again
on October 19, he is subjected to some experimental procedure
probably an injection of some kind. The details are blacked out. CRPRC
claims this is due to verbal and physical harassment, including
death threats, which have been made against these individuals [involved
in the research].
On December 12, he is reported to still be experiencing loose stools
and to have a poor appetite.
On March 15, he is reported with neck trauma. A scab on his right
hand is noted. It is all considered as minor and no treatment is pursued.
On August 8, 1999, a note is made that he has loose stool. A comment
is included that suggests this is because he received raisins as an
enrichment the day before.
On January 14, 2000, 25205 is again seen for trauma to his arms. It
is noted that this is presumed to be self-inflicted.
January 21: Reported fore arm trauma. Confirmed. Gave .5 cc
Ketamine to evaluate wound. (L) fore arm have numerous superficial
bite wounds as well as to (L) bicep. (sic) The wounds were treated.
It was noted that the wounds were self-inflicted. The observer notes
that 25205 is a self-biter and suggests that they should
try to make animal busy through enrichment.
On February 8, 9 and 10, he is reported with more diarrhea.
On February 25, there is more trauma to his left arm.
More diarrhea. On May 11, he is vomiting again.
Between May 11, and August 12, 2000, the last record available for
25205, 26 daily entries are recorded. All of them deal with the fact
that he has diarrhea.
Chronic diarrhea is epidemic in the primate labs.
25205s life has been one of chronic illness. The stress of a
caged existence has caused him to bite himself and chew on his own
arms repeatedly. His capture, incarceration, and misery have served
no purpose to humans other than providing jobs to cage cleaners and
veterinarians. Those who claim that animals in laboratories are well-treated,
respected, and irreplaceable to modern medical research are ignorant
of the facts concerning the actual lives of the animals about whom
they comment. Literally tens-of-thousands of monkeys such as 25205
are suffering through similar lives today in taxpayer supported laboratories
across the country precisely because of the deafening silence from
the public regarding their plight. If this silence is an artifact
of the publics ignorance, hopefully 25205s miserable life
and story might serve to educate.
25205, our thoughts are with you.