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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 28 February 2002 Issue

 LIFE STORY OF "r90128" Rhesus Macque--PRIMATE
Another Victim at WRPRC 

r90128 was the 128th rhesus macaque born at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center (WRPRC) in 1990.  His mother was r85004 (the 4th rhesus macaque born in 1984 at WRPRC); his father was rhaa56, a monkey acquired by WRPRC elsewhere.

r90128 was born on September 15th; he weighed a little over a pound.

During the first days of his life he was assigned briefly to a taxpayer-funded study titled: Development and Regulation of Emotion in Primates (Grant# 5R01MH046729).  This study continues today at WRPRC.  The researcher, Ned Kalin, uses an acid to burn a part of the brain involved in emotional responses.  It is unknown how r90128 was used in this experiment.

In 1991, r90128 was assigned to a study on the effects of staphylococcus toxins.

In 1992, r90128 was assigned to a study on the rare simian immunovirus (SIV).  They began drawing blood regularly.

On September 1, 1993, r90128 was assigned to the study: Mucosal Infection with SIV

On September 12, he underwent a colon lavage.  Essentially, he was given an enema, and the liquefied contents of his colon were sucked out.  This is likely a part of the Mucosal Infection with SIV study.  He seems not to have been successfully infected with SIV, but whether this was an experimental failure or whether he was used as a control animal in the study is unknown.

On September 4, 1994, r90128 was assigned to the study: Immunobiology of SIV Infection (Grant# 5P51RR000167).  The researcher, M. Salvato wrote: “We screened 56 uninfected monkeys … We predicted that SIV infection would be cleared rapidly in animals with high env-specific lytic activity and slowly in animals with low lytic activity. Accordingly, we infected 11 animals and found the opposite of our prediction to hold true…” Exactly how r90128 was used was undisclosed by WRPRC.

On September 1, 1994, r90128 was assigned to the project: Immunobiology of SIV and SHIV. SHIV (simian/human immunovirus) is an invention of primate laboratories. Pieces of the human immunovirus, HIV, are mated with pieces of a rare monkey virus SIV, to produce an entirely new-to-the-world organism, SHIV.

On September 4, 1995, r90128 was reported to be having "soft/loose feces."

On September 6, 1995, he was reported to be "beaten up."

On September 9, 1995, he was reported to have a cut on his left hand.

On September 11, 1995, r90128 was assigned to the project: Sweet Taste in Primates and had a small portion of his tongue cut out.

On January 8, 1996, r90128 was assigned to the project: Caloric Restriction and Aging. The researcher using him was Richard Weindruch.

On February 13, 1996, r90128 had "watery stools."

On March 11, 1996, r90128 was assigned to: Dietary Restriction and Aging, a project of the director's, Joe Kemnitz.  He keeps the monkeys in his experiments quite hungry for years on end.

On April 4, 1996, he was reassigned to Richard Weindruch's study and had an identification chip implanted into his right arm above the wrist.

On May 15, 1996, r90128 was reassigned to the project: Immunobiology of SIV and SHIV.

February 12, 1997, back to: Caloric Restriction and Aging.

On August 13, 1997, r90128 was assigned to the project: Study of Age-Related Bone Changes in Male and Female Monkeys.

On September 5, 1997, he was used in the study: Skeletal Effects of Therapeutic Anticoagulation Administration.

On September 19, 1997, r90128 had "two small cuts near right nostril."

On January 27,1998, r90128 was used in the project: Ctl Response in an SIV Infection of the Rhesus Macaque.

On the following day, January 28, 1998, J. Murphy used him in the project: Restraint, Anesthesia and Physical Examination of Non-Human Primates.

On July 27, 1998, the remark is made: "[E]valuated animal for weight loss; animal is bright, alert and responsive; no dehydration or history of diarrhea noted; re-evaluate after august weight; - by c.e." Then, "august weight shows weight gain; animal bright, alert, responsive and hydrated; resolve case." C.E. probably refers to Carol Emerson, a research veterinarian.

On May 20, 1999, r90128 was assigned to the project: DNA Profiling of Primates Used in Biomedical Research.

On or about August 8, 2000, r90128 seems to have lost his appetite. From the documents: "Intact canines. Not eating. Leaving large amounts of chow in cage. No abnormalities observed recently. Moved to this cage 3 weeks ago. If reports persist recheck weight to ensure maintaining."

On August 12, 2000, he was assigned to the project: Regulation of Food Intake in Rhesus Monkeys. The remark was made: "inappettance 10-19 thru 10-22.  Reported for inappettance; bright, alert, responsive and hydrated at present and eating; if condition persists get current weight and reassess. Not eating 10-23 thru 10-25. Left large amount of chow in cage; appears bright, alert, responsive, and hydrated; is defecating; monitor for inappettance and obtain current weight."

On August 24, 2000, the remark was made: "several reports for not eating; weight gain observed; care staff suggests chow not being removed for cage; contact investigator. Not eating well 11-10, 11-11. Mens." The "investigator" refers to the researcher using r90128 in his or her experiments. The remark, "Mens." is very odd in this context. Mens. is nearly always a notation for menses or menstruation. But r90128 is a male.

On January 31, 2001, r90128 underwent surgery to implant a tube into the
third ventricle of his brain.

On February 13, 2001, an infection developed around the edge of the cap glued to the top of his skull. The remark was made: "surgery on 1-31; headcaps require more maintenance than after caps; animal picks at margin and is not eating well; cavity at cranial end of implant; culture collected; nor eating well; plan: collect cbc/chem.; discuss headcap with pi. (PI refers to "primary investigator" the person being paid to experiment on r90128.

The last entry for r90128 notes that an antibiotic ointment is being applied to the infection.
During the ten years following his unfortunate birth at WRPRC, r90128 has been moved to a different cage at least 62 times, destroying any possibility of establishing even a limited sense of well-being through familiarity with his environment. During the ten years following his unfortunate birth, r90128 has been injected with Ketamine at least 20 times and has had blood drawn at least 24 times.

This information comes directly from documents reluctantly surrendered by WRPRC to one person with the courage and compassion to keep asking questions. WRPRC has tried to intimidate those who have written with concern about individual monkeys locked away and being experimented on there.

Evidence continues to accumulate almost daily about the profound similarities that exist in the minds and emotions of humans and the primates being experimented on in the nation's laboratories. Only the most bigoted, or ignorant, can continue to claim that the horrors being visited upon these unfortunate victims are, in any sense, less morally repugnant than they would be if the victims were human children. Just as we would have a moral obligation to speak out upon learning that such tortures were being conducted on our neighbors' children, so to do we have an obligation to speak out for the monkeys who are being frightened, harmed, and killed today.

It is due to the compassion and effort of Andrea Schwartz that we have learned a little about the sad life of r90128.

r90128, our thoughts are with you.

A note about the images: These are not photographs of r90128. The two top images are from the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, secreted out of that facility by Matt Rossell. The bottom image is from WRPRC and does show a typical skull cap.

Source: [email protected] (Beatrice Welles)
[email protected]
The Primate Freedom Project

Return to Animals in Print 28 Feb 2002 Issue

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