Monkeys Have Been Dying from Causes Other Than Animal Testing
A Report on “Causes of Deaths besides Experiments
Eat Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University (Inuyama
city, Aichi prefecture), which is well known for a chimpanzee named
Ai, has been breeding a large number of primates and using them
for experiments. Ava-net requested the laboratory to disclose its
report on “experimental use, deaths due to experiments, and deaths
from causes other than experiments Efor the year of 2003.
These three reports are submitted by marking ◁E but
the “deaths from causes other than experiments Eis a written report
on deaths resulted from accident and illness. According to the reports,
there are various problems concerning the breeding and experimental
use of primates.
We would like to show what is really happening behind
the scenes of animal testing. Although some parts are omitted, details
on death and autopsy findings are reprinted as is.
(*[ ] are writer’s notes. Ages of monkeys were calculated
from birth and death dates. In addition,
indicates portions of the report which had been marked out.)
Death by accident: unable to pull the arm out
Rhesus monkey (female, 5 months old)
She seems to have died from not being able to pull out her right
arm, which was caught between spaces of the perch that were 13 ?
Death by accident: accidental hanging
Rhesus monkey (male, 4 months old)
Found hanged with rope around his neck on the morning of 11/7/03.
As I entered the facility in an attempt to recover him, the mother
took him and run away. With ’s
help, we ran after and recovered him. [...] Although he appears
to have died from hanging, pneumonia was also found. Accidental
Death by accident: Died from blood loss resulting from tranquilizing
Japanese macaque (male, 9 years and 4 months old)
Transferred from playground #3 to #4 on 11/13/03. External wound
was found on lower left thigh on 11/14. On 11/17, he was captured
with a tranquilizer gun and treated. He was found dead inside the
cage on 11/18. 1) Hiatus and bleeding of the right abdominal wall
and pyloric portion of the stomach. 2) Retention of pleural effusion,
and pulmonary hemorrhage. 3) Softening of parenchymatous organ.
Died from blood loss resulting from tranquilizing gunshot. [*1]
Death caused by external wound
Rhesus monkey (male, 10 years and 7 months old)
On 3/23, we captured him when he was moving inside the facility
unsteadily. Numerous subcutaneous and muscular wounds were found
all over the body. Many of those wounds were not fresh. Died during
treatment. Traumatic shock seems to be the cause of death.
Examples where experimental failures can be learned
Rhesus monkey (male, 14 years and 2 months old)
Research purpose: To establish a model of “pancreatic islet autografting
Eas preliminary step to clinical application. Administered glucose
tolerance tests on 5/29/02 and 6/24/03. On 6/26/03, caudal corpus
pancreatis (as well as spleen) was removed, and pancreatic islet
was separated from it. On the 5th day after the operation (7/1),
we made him diabetic by administering medication. Succeeded in grafting
separated pancreatic islet on 7/4. [...] He had a good appetite
and no significant changes were seen; however, he was found dead
on the morning of 9/14. Although he seemed to be improving gradually
according to the glucose tolerance test, diabetic state continued
and he also began to lose weight. Cause of death likely to be diabetic
ketoacidosis. Gas from decomposition filled interperitoneal and
the organs were necrotized.
Rhesus monkey (male, 13 years old)
Research purpose: Same as above [...] On the 5th day after the operation,
we administered medication to make him diabetic. He was found dead
inside the cage later in the evening. Appeared to be a bit listless
after excision of caudal corpus pancreatic. Though IV was given
to alleviate the drug toxicity, he died when for a brief period
no one kept an eye on him. Rhemorrhagic ascites was detected. Believed
to have died from peritonitis (due to pancreatic juice) and drug
Death caused by delivery
Crab-eating macaque (female, age unknown, 14 years and 7
months after arrival)
Research purpose: Growth, development, and aging. Mated by Timed
Mating method (without medication). Though she was in the last phase
of pregnancy, edema and anorexia appeared few days ago. Dr. Goto
treated her but she was found dead on the morning of 2/11. [...]
Died from dystocia.
Stress from construction?
White Gibbon (female, 28 years and 11 months old)
She has been lying down on the floor and leaning against the wall
since the morning of 6/3. Anesthetized in the evening, treated,
and lost consciousness at night. Died before dawn despite the treatment.
[...] Likely to have died of emaciation (lost appetite due to construction?).
So-called "Swollen-Belly" E
Rhesus monkey (male, 4 years and 3 months old)
Research purpose: To elucidate brain mechanism of high-order visual
function. Made him feel comfortable in a monkey chair, and trained
him to control the lever while looking at the visual stimulation
shown on the computer display. Diagnosed as so-called “Swollen-belly
found him dead on 8/19. No major signs of trouble until the day
before. A number of subcutaneous bleeding over femur and lower extremity.
[...] Considerable retention of digested solid sludge due to gastric
intumescentia. Bubbles in portion of submucosa. Submucosal bleeding
in an area of colon 6-18 cm from anus. Possible cause of death:
an acute gastric flatulent.
Japanese macaque (female, 4 years and 5 months old)
Morning of 11/19 - A report was made concerning her slow movement
and large abdomen. Captured in the afternoon and treated for gastric
fratulent. Passed away before awakening from anesthesia. [...] Died
of deglutition pneumonia. (At one point, peritonitis due to perforation
of the colon was present.)
Rhesus monkey (male, 5 years and 10 months old)
Research purpose: To study cingulate gyrus cells which respond to
clues that stimulate reward and aversion. [...] After training coursework,
we recorded and analyzed activities of anterior cingulate gyrus
and neurocyte. Found dead in the morning. No major signs of trouble
until the day before. Provided solid food at 5 pm on the day before
Foam from the mouth was found on the floor. No stool. Gastric intumescentia.
Retention of digested solid matter in large quantity. [...] Possible
cause of death: an acute gastric flatulent.
Crab-eating macaque (male, age unknown, 14 years and 8 months
2/19 - weakened and died despite the treatment. (1) Bleeding of
gastric mucosa, damaged gastric wall (2) gastric rupture (3) mucosal
bleeding of small intestine (4) pulmonary hemorrhage. Died of acute
gastrectasis and gastric rupture. [*2]
Crab-eating macaque (male, age unknown, 14 years and 9 months
Research purpose: development and aging of primates. Unused (he
was raised for mating but no longer used for that purpose). 3/17
(Wed) - loss of appetite, pale face; 3/18 (Thurs) - recumbent, loss
of appetite -> hospitalized, X-ray (presence of shadow behind
the liver); 3/19 (Fri) ? laparotomy (splenomegaly, anemia); 3/20
(Sat) Confirmed dead at 8:00. Died from: 1. splenomegaly 2. hematostasis,
Japanese macaque (female, 28 years and 2 months old)
Research purpose: Study on cognitive function of elderly monkey.
Learning and memory behavioral experiment using WGTA. Hospitalized
from 5/30. Under treatment. Died on 6/3. Pulmonary hemorrhage, hematostasis,
cyst on spleen. [*3]
Rhesus monkey (female, 21 years and 10 months old)
She has been hospitalized for two years without treatment. Died
on 2/16. (1) Died from rupture of liver cyst. Bleeding of liver.
Peritonitis. (2) Bleeding from small intestine to cecum.
Rhesus monkey (female, 11 years and 9 months old)
3/31 - Weakened, internment, and died despite of the treatment.
Thoracic and pulmonary abscess.
Japanese macaque (female, 2 years and 3 months old)
Taken into an individual cage after a part-time worker found her
lying down. Leaning against the wall, she was making a crowing sound
as she breathed. She collapsed all of a sudden and vomited a large
amount of water. Head appeared to be convulsing, but it gradually
went away and pupils began to dilate. Her breathing as well as heart
stopped. [...] Causes of death: (1) intestinal obstruction due to
volvulus (2) pneumonia.
Rhesus monkey (female, age unknown)
Found her dead body at 10am. Died from mucosal bleeding of colon,
trichuriasis, hemorrhage of gastric mucosa, eye ball retraction,
and hemorrhagic enteritis.
Japanese macaque (female, 29 years and 4 months old)
Found dead in the morning (Mr./Ms. ).
All dry food left, but she ate the apple which was provided by Mr./Ms.
Large amount of sludged vomit on the floor. Rabbits Estool. [...]
Some sort of an infection suspected.
Japanese macaque (male, 3 years and 4 months old)
10/10 (Fri)- Transferred from playground #1 to #10 when he was found
listless. Died in the morning of 10/12 (Sun). [...] Had five small
hairballs inside the stomach. Cause of death: peritonitis due to
perforation of endogastric hairballs.
Japanese macaque (female, 7 years old)
4/22 Though she ate an apple in a second, she did not touch other
food at all. Found lying face down. Found dead on 4/23. Retention
of large amount of brown-colored ascites. Presence of three hairballs
inside the stomach, one in duodenum, and one perforation (2 Ex 0.6
E at 2 Efrom pylorus. Mucous membrane surrounding the perforation
had fallen. A bit of fibrous adhesion on upper and left lobes. Right
lung showed uneven colors of pink, red, and dark-red. Cause of death
likely to be peritonitis which resulted from duodenal perforation.
Death of Young Individuals - emaciation, illness,
external wound, bandonment, etc.
Japanese macaque (sex unknown, 15 days old)
In the morning of 8/17, 1131 (not biological mother of 1584) was
holding the dead body. Recovered the body the next day. Details
Cotton-top Tamarin (male, 2 months old)
Although this one of the twins looked to be in good shape with fine
coat, he was almost hairless except for the head. Since he always
looked hungry, banana with milk were often replenished. Mother carried
him on her back until the night of 8th; however, in the morning
of 9th, she let go of him as he weakened. Top 1cm of the tail was
dark red-colored and necrotized. Slight subcutaneous bleeding at
right upper elbow. A great volume of urine inside the bladder. No
gastric contents. Digested banana and milk inside the intestine.
No changes in lungs, heart, liver, spleen, pus, and kidneys. Cause
of death: emaciation due to malnutrition.
Japanese macaque (female, 1 day old)
Research purpose: Comparative biochemistry of primates. Collected
organs from the dead body. She seemed fine when we separated her
from a group of young mother monkeys. At about two o’clock, she
was kept warm with a towel. Became listless and died around four
o’clock. Detected bleeding inside the brain and internal organ.
Common marmoset (female, 4 days old)
In the morning of 9/16, she was on the net alone. Later she was
found by her mother. She also stayed beside her mother in the morning
of 9/17; however, by 11 am she was found on the net abandoned by
her mother. Had difficulty breathing. Taken into incubator, but
died at 2 pm. Abdominal distention. No external wound. Vomit adhered
around mouth. A large amount of milk inside the stomach. [...] Cause
of death: likely to be pneumonia.
Common marmoset (male, 1 day old)
She was found calm on the net. Kept her warm while waiting for the
mother to show up and hold the baby. She died the next day. No external
wounds or abnormal tongue. No gastric contents. No particular problems
in lungs, liver, or spleen. Causes of death: emaciation and abandonment.
Common marmoset (male, 0 day after birth)
A part-timer found him lying down inside the cage. Pneumatic lungs.
No changes in internal organs. Intracranial hemorrhage, depression
in part of skull, and subcutaneous bleeding of the skull. Died from
Hamadryad (male, 0 day after birth)
The mother was holding the baby with both hands when we went to
the cage. His limbs were feeble and he was hanging down from the
mother. Two lacerations (1 cm in diameter) which extended into muscular
layer were present in thoracic region. Subcutaneous and intramuscular
bleeding at the chest and back. Broken 3rd and 4th ribs. Intrathoracic
bleeding. Clotted milk inside the stomach. Crushed cranium and cerebral
fusion. Cause of death was thoracic external wound. Cervical fracture
Rhesus monkey (female, 5 days old)
Mother (Mm1465) was holding the baby upside-down. Limbs were feeble
and she seemed to be dead already. We chased them, made the mother
drop her, and recovered the body. No changes in thoracic and abdominal
cavities. No gastric contents. No birth defects. Extensive subcutaneous
bleeding was found at head and cervical regions. Presence of slight
foul odor. Retention of a small quantity of intracranial blood.
One bleeding focus in lobes. Depressions in frontal lobe. Died from
cranium fracture and cerebral contusion. [*4]
Miscarriage, stillbirth, or eaten away
Common marmoset (sex unknown, miscarriage or stillbirth)
Did not conduct autopsy (could not find the corpse which had been
preserved, it dried afterwards).
Rhesus monkey (sex unknown)
Did the birth happen few days ago? Appeared a little melted at the
time of discovery. Autopsy was not allowed. Miscarriage or stillbirth.
Common marmoset (sex unknown, stillbirth)
Had been eaten away except for the head.
Cotton-top Tamarin (sex unknown)
Recovered when he was found down on the floor. Defective lower jaw,
right arm, and lower limbs. Also appeared to have been bitten and
torn. [Omitted hereinafter]
Around 11 o’clock, we found the mother (Ph.79) holding the corpse
inside the cage. Recovered the body and conducted an autopsy. Pulmonary
atelectasis. Miscarriage. [*5]
Common marmoset (one male and two unknowns, stillbirth)
c.j. [Note: Common marmoset] ? 39♀ had considerable bleeding three
days before having a stillbirth baby. One had a head left, and the
other had been eaten away completely. [Omitted hereinafter] [*6]
The above is the original text of the report. Though
some details might have been painful to read, these are the things
that actually occur in the laboratories which conduct animal testing.
We strongly believe that it is a part of reality that we must be
As we presumed, the report had a lot of sections
which had been left blank (despite the fact that it says, Eeach
item must be filled out E) We think it is a good idea that these
reports are compulsory, but is it too much trouble for the researchers
to record every details? It is painful to learn the truth; however,
we feel as if those researchers who mention details are somewhat
more concerned about the animals than others who do not.
Although we can only estimate the number of deaths
due to miscarriage and stillbirth, we believe that the actual number
could be very high. We also feel that the number of death among
young individuals is quite high.
Moreover, we are awfully saddened by the calculations
of ages. There are those who died young, and others who had spent
confined life for close to 30 years. Although it is not known whether
they all lived together, we are especially saddened by the news
of three Crab-eating macaques who passed away about one month ago
one after another. They arrived on 6/20, 21/1989, and lived as experimental
subject for 14 years.
This report refers only to the year of 2003, but
we know from the past reports as many monkeys die from experiments
as accidents or illness. We must not forget about the fact that
monkeys are used for experiments, but we would also like to inform
you about those monkeys who spend their entire lives at the laboratories.
[*1: Playground #4 supposed to be a new one for preparing
National Bioresource Project. Though causes for external wound were
not mentioned, wouldn’t it be a problem that this type of accident
occurred right after transferring the monkey?]
[*2: Researchers are annoyed by the fact that the
monkeys in captivity for experimental purpose often die from gastric
flatulence. It is believed to be due to stress but the real cause
[*3: Wisconsin General Test Apparatus, an experimental
apparatus which was invented by infamous Harry Harlow.]
[*4: Why did they separate the baby from her mother?]
[*5: There were two cases where mother Japanese macaque
was holding the baby and two cases for Rhesus monkey.]
[*6: There were six miscarriage/stillbirth incidents
for Japanese macaque and one for Cotton-top Tamarin.
Homepage of Kyoto University’s Primate Research