Thursday, June 23, 2011

Research Monkey Escapes From Emory University

A monkey has gone missing in Lawrenceville.

A 2-year-old female rhesus monkey was counted absent from its compound at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center near Collins Hill Road more than a week ago, according to a statement released by the center.

Officials noticed the primate, which weighs about five pounds, was missing from its compound during a June 15 veterinary exam of the center’s animals.

Each compound inside the 117-acre Emory University field office is fenced in with sheet metal at the top and “block walls” connecting individual compounds, spokeswoman Lisa Newbern said Thursday. Yerkes personnel are unsure how the monkey may have escaped.

“We don’t know, and certainly that’s something that we’re looking at,” Newbern said. “Part of this process is looking at the structural integrity, seeing if anything came loose.”

Newbern said this was the first incident of an animal escaping from the center that current employees “can think of.”

The field office, opened in 1966, sits near the intersection of Collins Hill and Taylor roads, nestled among several subdivisions and a short distance from Collins Hill High School.

Newbern said residents of the Westchester Commons, Edgewater and Richland neighborhoods have been warned about the monkey, though officials stressed that it does not have the herpes B virus, “something common” to the species of rhesus macaques.

“This animal was in the process of being assigned to a behavioral research study, which is the focus of the research at the Yerkes Field Station,” the center’s statement read. “The animal was not part of a scientific study in which it would have been infected with any disease.”

Full story here.

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