Primate Freedom Project - Education, Advocacy, Support Primate Freedom Project - Education, Advocacy, Support
These are life stories of primates held in U.S. primate laboratories. They are based on documents obtained from the labs.
Clint Chimpanzee
Dover Chimpanzee
Sellers Chimpanzee
Tottie Chimpanzee
3566 Rhesus Macaque
PWc2 Rhesus Macaque
Unknown Rhesus Macaque
YN70-119 Chimpanzee
YN73-125 Gorilla
YN74-17 Chimpanzee
YN74-68 Chimpanzee
YN78-109 Chimpanzee
YN79-33 Chimpanzee
YN81-124 Chimpanzee
YN86-37 Squirrel Monkey
13447 Rhesus Macaque
13481 Rhesus Macaque
14326 Rhesus Macaque
20213 Rhesus Macaque
20229 Rhesus Macaque D
20233 Rhesus Macaque
20247 Rhesus Macaque
20253 Rhesus Macaque
20346 Rhesus Macaque
18714 Crab-eating Macaque
20629 Rhesus Macaque
22114 Crab-eating Macaque
23915 Crab-eating Macaque
23954 Squirrel Monkey
23993 Squirrel Monkey
23997 Squirrel Monkey
24005 Squirrel Monkey
24013 Squirrel Monkey
24557 Crab-eating Macaque
24605 Crab-eating Macaque
24974 Rhesus Macaque
24994 Rhesus Macaque
25142 Crab-eating Macaque
25157 Crab-eating Macaque
25205 Crab-eating Macaque
25250 Crab-eating Macaque
25274 Rhesus Macaque
25281 Rhesus Macaque
25412 Crab-eating Macaque
25809 Squirrel Monkey
27276 Crab-eating Macaque
27306 Rhesus Macaque
28092 Crab-eating Macaque
28098 Crab-eating Macaque
28100 Crab-eating Macaque
28104 Crab-eating Macaque
28109 Crab-eating Macaque
28114 Crab-eating Macaque
28545 Squirrel Monkey
28562 Squirrel Monkey
28796 Crab-eating Macaque
30749 Crab-eating Macaque
30755 Crab-eating Macaque
30813 Rhesus Macaque
30914 Rhesus Macaque
30916 Rhesus Macaque
30983 Rhesus Macaque
31031 Rhesus Macaque
34273 Crab-eating Macaque
34274 Crab-eating Macaque
34275 Crab-eating Macaque
34276 Crab-eating Macaque
34278 Crab-eating Macaque
34279 Crab-eating Macaque
34280 Crab-eating Macaque
34281 Crab-eating Macaque
cj0233 Common Marmoset
cj0453 Common Marmoset D
cj0495 Common Marmoset
cj0506 Common Marmoset
cj1654 Common Marmoset
Piotr Rhesus Macaque
rhaf72 Rhesus Macaque
rhao45 Rhesus Macaque
Rh1890 Rhesus Macaque
R80180 Rhesus Macaque
R87083 Rhesus Macaque
R89124 Rhesus Macaque
R89163 Rhesus Macaque
R90128 Rhesus Macaque
R91040 Rhesus Macaque
R93014 Rhesus Macaque
S93052 Rhesus Macaque
R95054 Rhesus Macaque D
R95065 Rhesus Macaque D
R95076 Rhesus Macaque D
R95100 Rhesus Macaque
R96108 Rhesus Macaque
R97041 Rhesus Macaque
R97082 Rhesus Macaque
R97111 Rhesus Macaque
Response from Jordana Lenon, public relations manager for WNPRC. Citizens' requests Lenon refused to answer.
A03068 Rhesus Macaque
A98056 Pig-tailed Macaque
A92025 Baboon
F91396 Pig-tailed Macaque D
J90153 Pig-tailed Macaque
J90266 Pig-tailed Macaque
J90299 Crab-eating Macaque
J91076 Pig-tailed Macaque D
J91386 Pig-tailed Macaque D
J91398 Pig-tailed Macaque D
J92068 Pig-tailed Macaque
J92349 Pig-tailed Macaque D
J92476 Pig-tailed Macaque
B15A Vervet
788E Rhesus Macaque
9382 Vervet
1984-016 Vervet
1991-016 Vervet
1992-015 Vervet
1994-014 Vervet
1994-046 Vervet
1994-087 Vervet
1995-046 Vervet
1995-101 Vervet
1996-022 Vervet
MCY24525 Crab-eating Macaque
MCY24540 Crab-eating Macaque
OIPM-007 Crab-eating Macaque
MCY24525 Crab-eating Macaque
MCY24540 Crab-eating Macaque
UNC-Chapel Hill
3710 Squirrel Monkey
Ashley Chimpanzee
Karla Chimpanzee
Tyson Chimpanzee
Snoy Chimpanzee
Maurice p1 Maurice p2 Chimpanzee
Hercules Chimpanzee
Jerome Chimpanzee
Ritchie Chimpanzee
Rex Chimpanzee
Topsey Chimpanzee
B.G. Chimpanzee
Dawn Chimpanzee
BamBam Chimpanzee
Dixie Chimpanzee
Ginger Chimpanzee
Kelly Chimpanzee
Lennie Chimpanzee
Kist Chimpanzee
Peg Chimpanzee
Aaron Chimpanzee
Chuck Chimpanzee
James Chimpanzee
Alex Chimpanzee
Muna Chimpanzee
Wally Chimpanzee
#1028 Chimpanzee
Lippy Chimpanzee
#1303 Chimpanzee
#CA0127 Chimpanzee
Shane Chimpanzee
196 Baboon
The Fauna Foundation Chimpanzees
Center for Biologics Evaluation
Univ. of Alabama - Birmingham

Univ. of Minnesota

00FP8 Long-tailed Macaque
312E Rhesus Macaque
9711B Rhesus Macaque
99IP61 Long-tailed Macaque
CDC-Column E 2002


The Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center

The Vilas Monkey Debacle

The Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center (WRPRC) is part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. WRPRC is largely funded with public monies. WRPRC is at once a state institution and a quasi-federal institution. This is beneficial when it needs a place to hide.

Distrust of the federal government became a reality for the average citizen after the Watergate break-in and cover-up were exposed. Today, awareness that politicians are prone to lies and deceits has become part of the fabric of skepticism wrapped around our view and opinions of our officials. Beginning in 1989, the WRPRC began telling a series of lies to the public that challenged any remaining belief that the pervasive lack of integrity in government had somehow bypassed the biomedical research community. Every assertion made by the biomedical vivisection community must be viewed through a lens of knowledge that members of the community will never act honorably toward the animals they hold in such demonstrated contempt, nor honestly toward those who would attempt to speak for the victims of their pastimes.

When the WRPRC was being constructed in the early 1960's on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison one researcher thought it would be a good idea to have a public display of monkeys for public education. This researcher was Harry Harlow, a psychologist with an interest in the psychological torture of infant monkeys.

Under the guise of investigating the maternal/offspring bond and the psychological effects of solitary confinement on infant monkeys, the University of Wisconsin-Madison sanctioned a career-long series of experiments devised and conducted by Harlow. Even today, WRPRC defends the Mengele-like horror visited upon baby monkeys in the name of Science with a memorial to Harlow in the entrance to the Harlow Primate Psychology Laboratory.

(Harlow's work has been written about and criticized extensively, but for the naive reader I will give a brief overview of Harlow's "accomplishments." I qualify accomplishments because it is unfair to characterize Harlow’s demonstrations as either accomplishments or discoveries. Demonstrating what is commonly known is not discovery.)

Harry Harlow's experiments started out being only typically cruel. He discovered that an infant rhesus monkey would cling to a soft mannequin monkey rather than to a wire mannequin monkey even when the wire mannequin supplies the baby with milk. But Harlow's genius was that he could push the questions always further. His work would have been impossible without a supportive university willing to pay for his investigations.

Harry and his students designed a variety of monkey mannequins. One was equipped with metal spines that could be ejected and retracted. When an infant was clinging to its surrogate mother the Scientists would eject the spines and the infant would be painfully pushed away from its "mother". They discovered that when the spines were withdrawn the baby would return and cling again. Another mannequin was designed with a series of tubes under the cloth covering that ice water could be circulated through. Again the baby was repelled by the "mother's" rejection but returned to cling again when the "mother" returned to normal.

In Harlow's most creative experiments he placed infants in V-shaped stainless steel boxes he termed the "wells of despair." When locked in these small vaults the infants were unable to see any other living creature including the person who replenished their food and water. And then he left the monkeys in these boxes for up to two years.

After they were removed from these prisons. Harlow "discovered" that they had few social skills and seemed unable to interact with more normal monkeys. Never one who was satisfied that he had created enough hell, Harlow then impregnated some of these socially and emotionally crippled monkeys. When their babies were born Harlow documented all the many ways they killed their own children.

Harlow had great prestige and clout when the WRPRC was being constructed, and over the objections of the National Institutes of Health, $189,000 was spent building a 5000 square foot monkey house at the Henry Vilas Park Zoo in Madison.

The University of Wisconsin (UW) entered into a twenty-year lease with the city of Madison for the land under the monkey house for $1 a year. The lease was to expire in 2003 but could be renewed for ten-year intervals. The UW paid for the care of the building and cared for the monkeys housed at the zoo facility, which came to be known as the "round house" due to its architectural design.

Business at the WRPRC continued normally until the late 1980's when a group of citizens began questioning whether it was proper for the public to observe animals who were destined to be tormented by experimental surgeries and other diabolical procedures. Theirs was not a unique view and since 1986 the Aquarium and Zoological Association (AZA) has stated that zoos should not become biomedical lab animal breeding farms - apparently the AZA realized that such an arrangement would be an affront to public sensibilities.

After trying to discuss the situation with UW officials and being ignored, laughed at, and derided, the citizens' group began a series of demonstrations to change university policy. Though publicly ignored by the UW, the protests were successful in raising public awareness and embarrassing the zoo; the UW was forced to admit that it had no understanding of what might be appropriate for public display. The WRPRC entered into an agreement with the zoo's operator, Dane County, which stipulated that the zoo monkeys would be safe from harmful experimentation.


June 15, 1989

Dr. David Hall
Director, Vilas Park Zoo
702 S. Randall Ave.
Madison, WI 53715

Dear Dr. Hall:

I want to inform you of the Primate Center's policy regarding our monkeys that reside at the Vilas Park Zoo in a building we refer to as the "WRPRC Vilas Park Zoo Facility". This building was constructed with funds provided by the federal government to the Primate Center. Thus, despite its somewhat ambiguous designation, the facility is owned and operated by us and, accordingly, the University of Wisconsin.

More than a few of the monkeys housed at this facility have lived their entire lives there, and animals are removed from their natal groups only to prevent overcrowding. The groups have been established for the principal purpose of studying social organization and social dynamics in stable primate societies. Accordingly, on those infrequent occasions when animals are removed from a group, the removal is guided by procedures aimed at ensuring the least disruption of the group and at preserving social stability.

The research performed on troops housed at the zoo is purely observational in nature. As a matter of policy, no invasive physiological studies are carried out on these animals. In addition, the Center's policy regarding animals removed from these established groups ensures that they will not be used in studies at our facility involving invasive experimental procedures. Such animals will be assigned to the Center's non-experimental breeding colony, where they are exempt from experimental use.

This policy on the uses of monkeys at the WRPRC Vilas Park Zoo facility has the endorsement of my administrative council as well as the staff veterinarians and animal care supervisors responsible for the care and humane use of all Center animals. As evidence of this, their signatures are also affixed.

Let me take this opportunity to point out that the Center has long taken a leadership role in the humane treatment of research animals. Our housing meets or exceeds all applicable standards. Our 12-person animal care staff has an average length of nearly 20 years of dedicated service to the Center and its animals. In addition, our chief veterinarian is one of just a handful of veterinarians in the state to be certified as a Diplomat of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, and our assistant veterinarian has developed a highly regarded program of pairing caged monkeys to enhance their psychological well-being.

Yours Truly,

Robert W. Goy, Director

Administrative Council

William E. Bridson
Associate Director

Robert K. Watson,
Assistant Director

Animal Care Unit

Wallace D. House
Chief Veterinarian

Viktor Reinhardt
Assistant Veterinarian

Stephen G. Eisele
Breeding Supervisor

Milford Urben
Vials Park Zoo Facility Supervisor


As WRPRC staff changed through the years, the agreement and the policy it represented was reaffirmed.



University of Wisconsin, 1223 Capitol Court / Madison, Wisconsin
53715-1299 FAX (608) 243-4031

April 18, 1990

Dr. David Hall, Director
Vilas Park Zoo
702 S. Randall Avenue
Madison, WI 53715

Dear Dr. Hall:

I confirm that the existing and future policies of the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center are that any animals bred at the zoo are used in non-interventive behavioral research or for breeding purposes only.

We are very pleased to have the zoo facility and will do all in our power to make it an interesting display for the public as well as a significant Center for behavioral studies. We are addressing new ways in which the condition of the animals can be improved. In particular, with regard to the hair loss seen during the late winter months.

In addition, we are currently establishing field research in the conservation biology of stump-tail macaques. We hope to provide some illustrated posters of our studies concerning this endangered species in the wild. The posters will show how studies in captivity strengthen conservation efforts in the wild. I will of course consult with you in the preparation of these posters, which I hope would also be of interest to your Commission and to the public.

My predecessor, Dr. Goy wrote to you last year on June 15 and on July 17. Our policies were spelled out in detail in those letters and these policies will remain in place. In particular, Dr. Goy's letter of June 15 addresses this topic. You are aware that the Center, which is one of seven federally-funded Primate Research Centers in the USA, carries out basic research in biomedical and behavioral sciences relevant to both human and animal health and conservation.

With best wishes.

Sincerely yours,
John Hearn


In 1995, the WRPRC was continuing to maintain this position through correspondence with the zoo director.


[From a fax:]

February 1, 1995

Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center
John P. Hearn, Director

Dr. David Hall, Director
Henry Vilas Park Zoo

Henry Vilas Zoo/WRPRC Collaboration

Dear David:

It was a pleasure to review our partnership recently. It was doubly a pleasure to be able to report that the extensive renovations of our Vilas facility now provides year round heating and lighting for the animals. This is overcoming the earlier problems of coat condition that led to misunderstandings by some visitors. We look forward to continuing improvements and we will pursue all possible funding sources to put some trees nearby to soften the rather stark appearance of the building. We will also proceed to obtain a storage shed for the storage of the roof panels, and I will review this plan with you as soon as we have it ready for discussion.

We also reviewed our agreement (since 1989) on the study of animals at Vilas and when they return to the Center. These animals are studied in non-invasive research or assigned to our breeding colony. Investigative procedures include those, with no damage or consequence to the animal required for veterinary health or routine procedures used in human medicine. These procedures cause no physical or sensory deficit and are all fully in compliance and previously approved through the required regulatory steps of the university and Federal employees. In cases where animals are no longer suitable for breeding, they are either assigned to our aged rhesus colony, again for non-invasive work, or euthanized humanely. In cases where animals do not meet criteria for genetic health or inbreeding, similar procedures apply. In cases where exceptional circumstances require a different use, for example unique genetic characteristics requiring more detailed investigation for human and animal health, we will review the proposal in advance with you.

The work at our Vilas facility is proving important for the conservation biology research that the Center is carrying out in Thailand, Brazil, Colombia, and elsewhere. The ability to test non-invasive genetic or endocrine monitoring systems, as well as the studies of social organization and the behavior of large primate groups, is an important role of the Vilas Lab and applies to the parallel field research. We will . . . [text undecipherable] . . . to explain and display this dimension of our research to the public through the information . . .[text undecipherable] . . . Vilas.

Thank you for your help in these endeavors. I enclose a one page summary of the Centers activities, for your information. As you know, I am available to discuss these matters or to present our work to your Commission or to the Society (of which I am a member) at any time.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

John Hearn

Almost every contention made in these three letters turned out to be a blatant lie.

The protection from invasive experiments on the zoo monkeys seems to have been a policy well understood and affirmed by many WRPRC staff members. But in the summer of 1997 a whistle blower came forward with documentation that monkeys had been secretly removed from the zoo, experimented on in the Center’s labs, and sold for experimentation to other labs around the country over a nine year period - throughout the time WRPRC was asserting through correspondence with the zoo that the monkeys were off limits.

At first, the university officials denied the facts, but eventually, as details and documents were made public, they were forced to admit that they had been lying all along.

Inventory of Monkeys Used by the Primate Center
From the Center's Henry Vilas Zoo Colony

Statement by Graduate School Dean Virginia S. Hinshaw

An inventory conducted August 11-12, 1997 by officials from the Wisconsin Regional Primate Center indicates that Primate Center monkeys housed in the UW facility at Henry Vilas Park Zoo were used in invasive research projects. This represents a serious breach of the 1989 local agreement between directors of the center and the zoo.

According to the June 19, 1989 agreement, no invasive studies were to be performed on animals housed at the zoo. While federal regulations for research were strictly followed by the center, the assignment of monkeys from the Vilas facility to some research projects did not adhere to that agreement.

I want to reiterate my instructions to the center's leadership on Monday, Aug. 11, that no monkeys housed in the Vilas facility will be assigned to invasive research projects. No such assignments have been made in 1997, and none will be made in the future.

The records of animals assigned from the zoo to the center since 1989 show:

•A total of 65 monkeys were used in invasive research studies, and 39 of those monkeys died or were euthanized as a result of the research. The remaining 26 monkeys are still part of research projects at the center.

•An additional 26 monkeys were euthanized and used in a tissue distribution program at the center from 1990 to 1996. The goal of the program was to provide researchers with normal tissues important for many internal and external biomedical research projects. That program was discontinued in June 1996.

The decisions made regarding these animals were improper, given the guidelines in the 1989 policy statement. The administration of Vilas Park Zoo should have been consulted about these decisions. I regret that this activity has cast doubt on a facility that is important to the community. I should emphasize that none of the monkeys currently housed at the Vilas facility have been used in invasive research experiments. I also want to make it clear that, in the past, monkeys from the Vilas facility have been sold as a colony management practice, primarily to prevent overpopulation.

From 1989 to 1995, 110 monkeys were sold to other facilities, such as research universities, companies and an NIH research center. However, no animals have been sold since 1995.

I would also like to address concerns about the future of the center's monkey colony housed at the zoo. The center's lease at the zoo is expected to expire in 2003, and we are currently working to find a long-term home that is best for the welfare of the animals and are committed to supporting the animals financially. But there is no quick resolution to this issue and finding an appropriate arrangement for the colony may take several years.

It is clear that the animal assignment process at the center regarding these specific monkeys failed. This process will be corrected. We are currently conducting a search for a new director of the center, and we look forward to working with that individual to strengthen our excellent research programs and promote public confidence in the center.

It is worth noting that the acting director of WRPRC during this period of public discovery was Joseph Kemnitz. A newspaper reporter had contacted Kemnitz about the secret experimentation on the protected monkeys. Kemnitz first denied that any such experiments had taken place, then changed his story to say that it had happened only once, then twice, and finally refused to talk about the situation once his assertions were repeatedly exposed as incorrect. Also of interest is the fact that Henshaw claims that the new director they were seeking would be able to clean up the problem and promote public confidence. The person they chose was Joe Kemnitz.

Perhaps Hinshaw believed she had finally put the matter to rest. She admitted that many monkeys were used in ways contrary to the UW's agreement with the county zoo, and she promised it would never happen again and would put procedures in place to make sure her decisions were followed. She seemed to be trying to be very professional about the whole affair.

But lies had been used to cover-up deceit. On August 19, The Capital Times newspaper reported:

A UW-Madison scientist who worked with monkeys at the Henry Vilas Zoo informed Hinshaw 15 months ago that the university was violating an agreement with the zoo that scientists at the university's Primate Research Center would not use zoo monkeys in harmful research.

An interesting relationship exists between the regional primate research centers and the National Institutes of Health. Since the centers are nominally part of a university, the NIH can defer decision making to them when it suits their purpose; but since NIH built the centers and continues to provide an overwhelming percentage of each center's funding, it can call the shots when it wishes.

Since the NIH pays for research projects using thousands of monkeys a year and the cost of housing tens-of-thousands of monkeys a year, one might suppose that the fate of one hundred fifty zoo monkeys would be of little consequence to them. But such was not the case. Whether NIH officials acted independently or in collusion with the WRPRC is unknown, but what is abundantly clear is that NIH correspondence with WRPRC put the monkeys on the fast track to hell.


Nov. 19, 1997 UW-Madison Press Release

Brian Mattmiller [from WRPRC web page]

MADISON - The National Institutes of Health will end a long tradition of funding the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center's monkey colony at Henry Vilas Park Zoo, effective Feb. 1. The decision will restrict the Primate Center from using funding from its $4.5 million base grant to maintain the Vilas Zoo colony. The facility costs approximately $100,000 a year to maintain, which includes personnel, food and supplies, and utility expenses. The funding is no longer justified, according to an Oct. 30 letter from NIH, because of an insufficient level of funded research being done at the facility. The letter notes that there has been little outside grant support in recent years for behavioral research on the monkeys. In addition, monkeys from Vilas are prohibited by a local agreement from being used in biomedical studies on campus, which constitutes the majority of the Primate Center's work. "This decision puts us in a very difficult position," said Virginia Hinshaw, dean of the UW-Madison Graduate School. "The change in funding means that we have to work rapidly to find options for the colony. "The NIH's primary role is to fund research to solve human health problems, so it is understandable the agency would feel the colony is no longer its responsibility," Hinshaw added. "Its support does not extend to funding zoo exhibits." In August, Hinshaw informed NIH officials about a breach of an agreement between directors of the Primate Center and the Vilas Zoo. The agreement, written in 1989, stated that no monkeys from the Vilas colony would be used in invasive research studies at the Primate Center. In response to news about the agreement and the fact that support for behavioral research had declined, NIH decided to reevaluate its support of the colony. The colony currently houses about 100 rhesus macaques and 50 stump-tailed monkeys. Options include transferring ownership of the facility and animals to the zoo, if a private funding source can be found to support the colony. Such funding is not available in the zoo's current budget provided by Dane County. Hinshaw said that private foundations and individual donors will be approached about offering financial help.

On Nov. 11 [My emphasis. Compare this with the date of the Kemnitz/Gerone correspondence below], Primate Center Interim Director Joe Kemnitz met with David Hall, director of the zoo, to inform him of the funding change and discuss ways to maintain the colony at Vilas. Another option is to relocate the animals to another facility. The animals could, for example, serve as a breeding colony for another research center, or be sheltered at a privately run sanctuary, Hinshaw said. Also being considered is a combination of the two options - for example, reducing the size of the colony, but still transferring responsibility to the zoo. This option could significantly reduce the overall costs of running the facility, Kemnitz said. Under any option, Hinshaw said, the university intends to follow the 1989 agreement that prohibits their use in invasive research…

A couple important points emerge from this press release. Hinshaw had informed NIH about the breach in August, and it took NIH six months to reply. Hinshaw apparently knew that the NIH would not fund the Vilas Zoo colony, yet waited six months to say so. In spite of her earlier statement of November 19:

"I would also like to address concerns about the future of the center's monkey colony housed at the zoo. The center's lease at the zoo is expected to expire in 2003, and we are currently working to find a long-term home that is best for the welfare of the animals and are committed to supporting the animals financially. But there is no quick resolution to this issue and finding an appropriate arrangement for the colony may take several years."

She was now saying, "The change in funding means that we have to work rapidly to find options for the colony." Apparently, Hinshaw's earlier assertion that: "…we are currently working to find a long-term home that is best for the welfare of the animals and are committed to supporting the animals financially," simply disappeared into the same black hole of expediency that had swallowed the WRPRC's earlier pledge to protect the monkeys.

And finally, the date of this press release was November 19, just a week before Thanksgiving and the vacation season that effectively shuts down schools and government until after New Year's.


BYLINE: By Jason Shepard Correspondent for The Capital Times, 01/02/98

The University of Wisconsin plans to shut down the monkey house at the Henry Vilas Zoo within 30 days, closing a landmark that has been a central attraction of the Madison zoo for 33 years.

Employees who care for the 150 rhesus and stump-tailed macaques have been told their last day at the facility will be Feb. 1, the day federal funding for the facility is eliminated...

I heard this news on TV and posted the following message to a couple of animal advocacy internet bulletin boards:

Just announced on local Madison TV:

The fate of the rhesus macaque colony belonging to the Wisconsin Regional Primate Center housed at the Henry Vilas Zoo has been announced by the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

The rhesus colony will be "taken in" by the Louisiana Regional Primate Research Center, sometimes referred to as the Delta Primate Center.

Peter Gerone, Delta's director, is known for his willingness to enter into animal rights controversies; Gerone took the Silver Spring monkeys when no other facility was willing to accept them.

The Delta Center, in Covington Louisiana, specializes in the study of tropical infectious and parasitic disease. They are currently at work on a project to increase their "infant harvest" by 150 babies a year. Infants at the center are "harvested" from their mothers before they are three days of age and moved into peer-age nursery cohorts.

This zoo colony was being secretly used as breeding stock for the Wisconsin Primate Center, and along with the stump-tailed macaque colony, is at the center of a continuing scandal illustrating the lack of honest public disclosure by the center's staff. The hidden sale of the monkeys to other facilities generated $200,000.

The University says there is no money to provision the monkeys at the zoo as they discuss plans to begin construction on a new $8 million lab.

Zoo officials state that it will be sad to see them go but have made no effort to keep them at the zoo.

The UW, which had been talking about the time needed to find a safe home for the monkeys, had decided to send them to Gerone. In documents procured through Wisconsin's open records laws it seems clear that a sanctuary for the rhesus monkeys was never considered by the WRPRC.

E-mail from "Joseph W. Kemnitz" ( to

"" (Peter Gerone, director of Tulane Primate Center), dated 10 November 1998, subject "Gift"

Pete, would you accept a gift of a group of ~50 rhesus monkeys from us? Or two groups totaling ~100?

I am trying to resolve a controversy (and now a funding issue) regarding our monkeys kept at the local zoo. If I could find a new home for the rhesus, it would make life much easier. Both groups consist of males and females of mixed ages. They are reasonable breeding troops. It would be best if they were used for breeding, rather than invasive research for PR issues.

We would like to ship them before February.

If you have any interest, let me know.

Best regards,


Notice the date of this message: November 10, 1998. But the move to Tulane was not announced until January 9.

Email reply on 11 November 1997, from "Peter J. Gerone"

Joe - sorry for the delay in responding. I got your message the first thing this morning but I wanted to talk to Jim Blanshard before responding.

The answer is YES! We have our quarantine pretty full through January but we hope to move them out in time to accept your monkeys. We would be interested in the whole group and, obviously, would pay the expense of getting them there. We appreciate your offer.


Sometimes one is struck by the seemingly lithic insensitivity of public officials charged with making decisions affecting the weakest members of society. The UW announced on January 9, that in less than thirty days the one hundred rhesus monkeys they had promised to protect were going to be sent to Tulane. (This number turned out to be one hundred forty-three but throughout hearings with Dane County the WRPRC never tried to correct the number of monkeys involved. It turned out that nearly fifty monkeys from the zoo were in the labs.)

The decision had been made on or before November 10 or 11, two months before the WRPRC's disclosure. To the primate center staff, monkeys are junk; the monkeys' inner experiences of life are beneath the dignity and not worth the time of the researchers and administrators to consider for the briefest of instants.

Beside the decade of lies to the community, it later came to light that the WRPRC was violating their federal NIH grant. On page 1291 of their NCRR (National Center for Research Resources - the arm of NIH suckling the animal based labs) base grant it states:

" . . . by agreement with the zoo's director, there are limitations on the types of research performed on monkeys born at the facility even after they are transferred elsewhere." (emphasis added).

In hours of public testimony to Dane County officials the WRPRC staff asserted that the monkeys it intended to send to Tulane would be protected by the original, yet repeatedly violated, agreement. Tulane's director, Peter Gerone, went on record stating that the monkeys would be used as any other lab monkeys.

In the end, the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center continued to lie and contort the truth. In their 1997 annual report to NIH they wrote:

The zoo monkey situation . . . generated negative media and animal rights activism attention for the Primate Center. However, the negative press was concentrated in one local paper with a low circulation (20,000), and ongoing, consistent public opposition directed toward the Primate Center came from a very small number of individuals.

But this covers up the fact that school children raised money to protect the monkeys, every TV station covered the story, three county sub-committees voted unanimously to help the monkeys, the county government overwhelmingly passed a resolution intended to help the monkeys, the governor's wife recorded a public service announcement to help the monkeys, and no one who attended public meetings spoke against the monkeys other than Primate Center staff.

Nearly one hundred fifty rhesus monkeys born at the zoo were sent to the Louisiana Regional Primate Research Center on March 4, 1997 where they endured ninety days of solitary confinement which Tulane termed quarantine. Their family groups were destroyed. Some have been placed into breeding situations, some have died (at least one during its solitary confinement), and others have been placed into research. This, in spite of three written agreements, promises by the graduate school dean, and limitations written into their federal grant.

No one was ever held accountable for the two hundred one monkeys who were secretly stolen over the nine-year period.

The university had the monkey house bulldozed to the ground.

This has been a very brief accounting of the situation. WRPRC told so many lies to so many members of the public that a full accounting would fill a book. It is my belief that WRPRC is not unusual in its willingness to lie baldly. Such behavior appears to be the accepted and expected norm. For such lies, the NIH rewarded them handsomely.

It is worth noting that, for some reason, perhaps just hope, that people who shake their heads or shrug their shoulders or even spit in disgust upon learning about the lies, the deceits, the choreographed manipulation of the public’s trust by the NIH and the primate vivisectors, seem willing to suspend their disbelief when told by the same liars that the tax monies they are consuming, the animals they are hurting, the experiments they are performing will somehow lead to their disease-free immortality.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Primate Freedom Project
P.O. Box 1623
Fayetteville, GA. 30214
Tel: 678.489.7798


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