baboons retired from a research program at a pharmaceutical laboratory have a new home at a 75ha sanctuary.
EARLY last month, nine baboons aged 13 to 23 that'd previously been used for scientific experiments were granted a reprieve and will live out the remainder of their lives at the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley, Texas.
The United States is one of the few countries that still allow medical research on a group of mammals whose genetic make-up closely resembles that of humans. Medical research on great apes has been banned in Belgium, Austria, Sweden, the Netherlands and New Zealand. Spain and the Balearic Islands have granted great apes legal rights and Japan, Australia and Britain have laws that severely restrict the use of great apes in research.
Scientists have sequenced the genome of the chimpanzee and found that humans are 96 % similar to the great ape species. Physical traits humans share with primates include: hair instead of fur, fingernails instead of claws, opposable thumbs, higher brain-to-body-size ratio, prehensility (ability to grasp with toes and/or fingers), padded digits with fingerprints, binocular vision and reduced sense of smell that makes us more dependent on vision.
The animals that made it to the sanctuary were retired from a research program at a US national pharmaceutical laboratory. At the Born Free Sanctuary the newcomers will be able to explore the 75ha facility, where they'll socialise and be permitted to explore the world outside a cage for the first time. they'll gradually be introduced to the new environment to prevent them from being overwhelmed by their new-found freedom and will learn how to live in a colony.
“This is a happy ending for these lucky nine, as it's been for our hundreds of residents at the sanctuary. We're ecstatic that we can give them a life of grass, trees, ponds, exercise, proper food and medical care,”. Said Adam Roberts, executive vice-president of Born Free USA.
The United States is the world’s largest user of chimpanzees for biomedical research and has 937 individual subjects currently available in US labs. In 2011, the Institute of Medicine stated in a report titled Chimpanzees In Biomedical And Behavioural Research: Assessing The Necessity that with advancements in alternate research tools, the use of chimpanzees is largely unnecessary.
Bwindi National Park is located in South Western Uganda at the western side of the Rift Valley. It is the habitat to over half of the remaining gorillas in the world. This park is covered with by a tropical rain forest which has about 324 tree species. Of these, ten of them are only found in this area. This area receives heavy rainfall between the months of March to April and short rains between the months of September to November. This park covers an area of 331 square kilometers and has an altitude of 1160m at Ishasha gerge and 2607m at Rwamunyonyi peak.
Bwindi has an impenetrable National Park that has been a gorilla tracking tourist destination since 1963. There are currently four different groups of gorillas which can be visited. These are; The Habinyanja group which consists of 23 gorillas and 2 silverback, The Mubare group which consists of 16 gorillas and 1 Silverback, The Nkuring group which has 20 gorillas and 2 silverback and The Rushegura group which consists of 9 gorillas and 1 silverback. In addition, there are only eight permits issued daily for each group and you also have to book your safari four months before you visit. Permits are sold at Uganda Wildlife Agencies at their Headquarters in Kampala. The thick forest covers make the ground wet throughout the year and visitors are advised to carry boots and rain jackets.
This park is also a bird watchers haven. About 360 bird species and over 200 types of butterflies have been recorded. Some of the birds found in Bwindi National Park include Yellow-eyed black fly-catcher, dusky crimson wing, wilcock's hone-guide, bar-tailed trogon, short-tailed warbler and many more. With the help of a trained tour guide, this is also a good place to learn and understand more about the primates as you watch and see the different birds and tree species. A part from birds, this park is also a home to about 120 mammals including seven primates and about thirty elephants. The primates include the chimpanzee, blue monkeys, black and white Columbus, grey-cheeked mangabey and L'Hoest's monkey.
Bwindi National Park is the best park where you can get a spectacular view of the endangered gorillas. The popular waterfall trail leads to three crystal clear waterfall trails. It gives one an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the tropical rain forest. These trails include; the Muzabajirro trail where you can...
“For many years, experiments using chimpanzees have been instrumental in advancing scientific knowledge and have led to new medicines to prevent and treat debilitating and life-threatening diseases. However, recent advances in alternate research tools, including cell-based technologies and other animal models, have rendered chimpanzees largely unnecessary as research subjects,”. The report states.
After the report was published, the US National Institute of Health suspended all new grants for biomedical and behavioural research on chimpanzees and accepted the first uniform criteria for assessing the necessity of such research. Those guidelines require that the research be necessary for human health. That there be no other way to accomplish it.
Bills sent to Congress to ban or mitigate issues involving great apes have largely been overlooked. Most recently, a bill that'd've put an end to invasive research on chimpanzees in the US died when Congress failed to act on the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act in 2011 and 2012.–. Akron Beacon Journal/McClatchy Tribune Information Services
Medical research on great apes has been banned in Belgium, Austria, Sweden, the Netherlands and New Zealand. Spain and the Balearic Islands have granted great apes legal rights and Japan, Australia and Britain have laws that severely restrict the use of great apes in research.
The animals that made it to the sanctuary were retired from a research program at a US national pharmaceutical laboratory. Most recently, a bill that'd've put an end to invasive research on chimpanzees in the US died when Congress failed to act on the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act in 2011 and 2012.