Research monkey strangles to death at new UW animal lab
Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now



Dr. Robert Gibbens Director, Western Region, USDA
(970) 494-7478
[email protected] 
[email protected] 


Please LEVY a MAXIMUM FINE against University of Washington, Seattle, for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) when their negligence allowed a monkey to die of strangulation. Their behavior must NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


Research monkey strangles to death at new UW animal lab
From Sandi Doughton,, September 20, 2018

The pigtail macaque got tangled in a chain dangling from a device attached to its cage at the recently opened underground facility.

A research monkey strangled to death this spring at the University of Washington’s new, underground animal laboratory.

Records released by the animal rights organization Stop Animal Exploitation Now show that the pigtail macaque got tangled in a chain dangling from a device called a foraging board attached to its cage.

“The animal was able to pull a portion of a chain through the bars and around its head and got it caught on its jaw, resulting in asphyxiation,” says a May 1 letter from the UW notifying the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Animal Research of the incident.

A foraging board holds food that monkeys can extract themselves, simulating foraging in the wild and enriching the caged animals’ environment. The UW letter says the device had been modified and was not installed properly.

The monkey’s social partner, housed either in the same or an adjacent cage, witnessed the death and was sedated with Valium, the letter adds.

“The death of a healthy pigtail macaque in April 2018 was a tragic and unexpected loss,” UW spokeswoman Tina Mankowski wrote in an email to The Seattle Times. “All of the foraging devices were removed from the cages within an hour of the incident and alternative forms of enrichment were emphasized.”

Mankowski also pointed out that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which inspects animal research labs, has not cited the UW for the death.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now filed a complaint with USDA, asking the agency to levy a fine against the university.

The monkey is the 10th primate to die accidentally at the UW since 2009, when a male macaque starved to death. The USDA fined the university almost $11,000 for that incident.

In 2014, the USDA cited the university for the deaths of three young monkeys who were placed in cages with, or near, adult males who attacked them. The UW earned another USDA citation in 2015, after three monkeys died after surgery to fit them with skull and vertebral implants. In 2017, an 8-year-old female pigtail macaque died of thirst after the water line to its cage became disconnected.

See also:

Return to Media Coverage