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.
Dover Chimpanzee
Sellers Chimpanzee
3566 Rhesus Macaque
PWc2 Rhesus Macaque
Unknown 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
23993 Squirrel Monkey
23915 Crab-eating Macaque
23954 Rhesus Macaque
25142 Crab-eating Macaque
24974 Rhesus Macaque
24013 Squirrel Monkey
25157 Crab-eating Macaque
25205 Crab-eating Macaque
25274 Rhesus Macaque
25412 Crab-eating Macaque
27276 Crab-eating Macaque
28100 Crab-eating Macaque
28114 Crab-eating Macaque
30914 Rhesus Macaque
30916 Rhesus Macaque
30983 Rhesus Macaque
31031 Rhesus Macaque
cj0233 Common Marmoset
cj0453 Common Marmoset D
cj0495 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
R95054 Rhesus Macaque D
R95065 Rhesus Macaque D
R95076 Rhesus Macaque D
R96108 Rhesus Macaque
R97041 Rhesus Macaque
R97082 Rhesus Macaque
R95100 Rhesus Macaque
S93052 Rhesus Macaque
Response from Jordana Lenon, public relations manager for WNPRC.
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
censored Vervet
censored Vervet
censored Vervet
MCY24525 Crab-eating Macaque
MCY24540 Crab-eating Macaque
OIPM-007 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
The University of Minnesota
#00FP8 Long-Tailed Macaque
#312E Rhesus Macaque
#9711B Rhesus Macaque
#99IP61 Long-tailed Macaque
The Fauna Foundation
The Fauna Foundation Chimpanzees
Center for Biologics Evaluation
Univ. of Alabama - Birmingham


This is the story of a male rhesus macaque named Piotr. He was born on December 10, 1973. The name Piotr (Pe-o-ter) is Dutch in origin. He once was a subject of behavioral studies at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, conducted by Frans DeWaal, himself Dutch, who has since moved on to Yerkes.

read Piotr's records from Univ. of Wisconsin

Piotr's social group was featured in DeWaal's book, Peacemaking in Primates. As "property" of the NIH Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center, Piotr was tattooed with the serial number rh-w38.

Piotr lived virtually his entire life as part of a social group of rhesus monkeys on public display at the Henry Vilas Zoo. These monkeys, known by name and loved by area children and adults, were protected from any invasive or harmful experimentation. This protection was guaranteed through at least three written agreements between the administration of the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center (WRPRC), Dane County, and the Henry Vilas Zoo. WRPRC staff violated their agreement to protect Piotr when he was 22 years old.

Piotr had lived his life in a rich social setting with access to the open air, where sunshine, birds, and breezes entered his home in spring and summer. When he matured, Piotr became a high-ranking male who sired at least twenty-four infants. Later in life, Piotr's social status changed. Less obviously powerful, he played the role of a benevolent uncle. Eventually, as is common during social dominance transition periods in macaque groups, Piotr went through what would have been a brief period of being picked on by the other macaques.

Macaques, even those living in a confined space, will normally work out their conflicts, given the opportunity. This is part of the flexibility of their social behavior, studied at great length by behavioral scientists. Little did Piotr know at the time, but he would soon be picked on by humans who understood nothing of his society and who would not listen to anyone who did.

In the fall of 1995, a new veterinarian at the Primate Center, apparently on orders from Joseph Kemnitz (then Associate Director of WRPRC, now director) overrode the opinions of staff who had daily contact with these primates, and ordered Piotr removed from his group. Neither Kemnitz nor the veterinarian was knowledgeable of macaque behavior. Center staffers, involved closely with Piotr and his group, were upset by the decision, but powerless to prevent it. Piotr never had a chance to resolve the social conflict within his group. Instead, he was taken away from everything that had been familiar to him and was forced into a small laboratory cage.

On February 22, 1996 either Joseph Kemnitz or Kirk Boehm, the animal resource manager, assigned poor Piotr to James N. Ver Hoeve's study: "Neural Bases of Visual Deficits During Aging."

Piotr is believed to be locked in Ver Hoeve's laboratory, alone in a small cage.

Ver Hoeve's study has resulted in no new knowledge. He has published no papers related to the neural basis of visual deficits during aging in primates. Apparently, during his experiments, he put electrodes into the brains of the monkeys he was using and then stapped them into restraint chairs. Ver Hoeve wrote:

The results to date indicate that old monkeys have significantly lower [visual] acuity than young adult animals....As predicted on the basis of human studies, there is also large overlap in the range of visual acuities at optimal refraction between old and young monkeys.…We have trained one young adult and one old animal to perform a two-alternative forced-choice task and have obtained complete contrast sensitivity data from these animals. Four additional animals are at an advanced stage of training....These neurophysiological studies will use multi-unit recording methods to look for age-related changes in response properties and in interactions between cortical neurons. The behavioral and evoked potential survey data will be used to separate groups of animals with good and poor vision for further neurophysiological and anatomical study.

Continuing to experiment on Piotr, and other older monkeys from the Vilas Zoo, brings the Wisconsin Primate Center to the level of direct and invasive experimentation on monkeys who were on public display at the Vilas Zoo and covered under the aforementioned agreement. Both James N. Ver Hoeve and Joseph Kemnitz continue to violate these written assurances.

In an August 11, 1997 report in the local Madison newspaper, The Capital Times (UW Scientists Deny Knowing Monkeys Had Lived at Zoo), University of Wisconsin Primate Center scientists David Pauza and Paul Kaufman stated that they weren't aware that the monkeys who had died in their studies had been born at the zoo. Kemnitz responded by saying, "We have complete documentation for all of our animals regarding their clinical and experimental history. If an investigator is not aware of the origins, it's not because the information was not available." Clearly, James Ver Hoeve now knows where Piotr came from.

The very last bit of information we have concerning Piotr comes from his laboratory records. He weighed just under eleven pounds at the time of this entry:

Remark: thin, old animal with abdominal mass and occult blood in feces; possible colonic adenocarcenoma....possible liver or biliary involvement; Plan-monitor; euthanize if loss of weight/condition.

Piotr needs to be placed in a safe, social setting to live out his life.

Free Piotr!

Write to:

James N. Ver Hoeve
Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center
1220 Capitol Court
Madison, WI 53715

Speak out. Your silence signals your acceptance.

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


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