Four baboons made a convict-style escape from a research lab

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Jannelle Bouton saw one of the four baboons who broke through a fencing barrier at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, leading to an all out search mission.

The 4 critters escaped from the Southwest National Primate Research Center at approximately 3:15 p.m. Saturday, according to Information 4 San-antonio.

The baboons were recovered within 30 minutes.

During this weekend's incident, the fourth baboon appears to have immediately returned to the enclosure; however, without a visual confirmation and until a full head count of the animals in the enclosure, our animal capture team continued monitoring the perimeter area, while animal care staff completed a full head count and determined that the fourth baboon had, in fact, returned to the enclosure and all four baboons were officially accounted for.


"It was furry and it was brown and it was pretty big", Bouton said. "So we tell the guys to jump in the back of the truck and start chasing the baboon back the other way".

Video footage showed the animals gallivanting down roads a few miles from the research center before a highly trained team was able to re-capture them, officials said.

"Our team was ensuring the baboon was not hurt by traffic on Military Drive", he said.

Researchers said in a statement that the baboons were given the barrels as an "enrichment tool" that would help them mimic foraging as they would in the wild.


The blue barrels they used to escape, however, have been removed from the enclosure and will be evaluated.

Officials said the baboons were examined by a veterinarian and found to be uninjured.

Some residents were concerned that the animals were carrying infectious diseases when they escaped, but the animals were not part of an active study, KSAT said.

'Baboons, as with all our animals, are critical to biomedical research'.


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released documents Monday pointing to various violations at the research facility, which was ordered to pay a $25,714 fine in 2011 after two baboons escaped an enclosure. The institute added, "We have almost 1100 baboons on the property that date back eight generations".

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