Four Clever Baboons Escaped Over The Wall At Texas Research Facility
Four baboons imprisoned within a Texas animal research centre tasted freedom for a brief time after they succeeded in making a daring escape.
The clever primates propped barrels up against the walls of the facility in San Antonio and broke free by jumping over the fence.
Three of the baboons continued on with their great escape, but one gave up and returned to his pen alone.
The three intrepid escapees from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute were recaptured after just half an hour out in the fresh air.
The centre holds around 1,100 baboons in total - imagine the mess (and hilarity) if they had all escaped.
The baboon's home is part of the Southwest National Primate Research Centre and it has been in use for 35 years.
The baboons were only recently provided with the 55 gallon barrels that staff introduced to their open air enclosure as an 'enrichment tool' and in the hope that they would be 'used to help mimic foraging behaviours'.
As well as the 1,100 baboons, the centre has around 2,500 other animals in captivity.
The three baboons are used to help aid scientists looking for cures and vaccines for diseases, so you could understand their desire to escape. During the run for the border it looks like the fourth decided against it and went back of its own accord.
Needless to say, the barrels have now been taken out of the enclosure after they managed to move them into a position to get over the fence.
The centre's associate director of veterinary resources and research support, John C. Bernal told local broadcaster KSAT: "The barrel was lifted in a strategic position in proximity to the wall,
"One of the baboons said 'I am going to try to make this leap'.
"And once that occurs, it's a typical monkey see, monkey do, and the others follow."
Once they got out the alarm was raised almost immediately - turns out that your average Texan isn't used to seeing monkeys running down the road.
They were eventually captured and are safe back at the centre. The facility's assistant vice president of communications, Lisa Cruz said it was a 'truly unique incident'.
Cruz added: "We have nearly 1,100 baboons on the property that date back eight generations. Baboons, as with all our animals, are critical to biomedical research."
She also added that the baboons who escaped were not part of an active study and aren't part of research into infectious diseases, so were not infected with anything.
Featured Image Credit: KSAT/ABC