Texas Biomedical Research Institute and the Southwest National Primate Research Center reported that on the afternoon of April 14 four baboons left their enclosure, and three of them breached perimeter fencing around the Institute. The four baboons were later brought back to the enclosure.
The documents show that the centre has received numerous warnings from government inspectors regarding the welfare of its inmates, and was "required to pay a fine after it was found in violation of the Animal Welfare Act in 2011", KSAT reports.
The primates outsmarted their human caretakers Saturday by rolling the barrel upright against the wall of their open-air enclosure at Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, officials said. Researchers mentioned owing to just how much their own body structure is really to individuals, baboons are vital towards the medical care process.
"One of the baboons said "I am going to try to make this leap". "The baboon stopped at one point and he was just looking, and then it darted into the bushes and these guys are frazzled and they are freaking out".
"And once that occurs, it's a typical monkey see, monkey do, and the others follow".
They ran across nearby Military Drive, but workers who tend to the animals spotted the baboons on top of the wall and alerted the "animal capture team", according to the institute's news release.
"You could tell they were panicking because they didn't want him to get hurt", Bouton said, "but he wasn't having it". The primates were actually caught on video making a run for their freedom along a road near the research lab, while researchers chased after them.
The barrel was put in the enclosure because the animal team deemed it an enrichment tool that helped baboons mimic foraging behaviour, the research facility said in a statement. This enclosure has been used for more than 35 years.
All of the baboons were captured within 20 to 30 minutes of leaving the enclosure.
None of the baboons were hurt during the escape, according to the station.
"This was truly a unique incident", said Lisa Cruz, Assistant Vice President for Communications.
Lisa Cruz, assistant vice president for communications at the Southwest National Primate Research Centre, that is part of the institute, said: 'We have almost 1,100 baboons on the property that date back eight generations.
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.