SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — Four baboons in San Antonio proved to be quite a handful when they freed themselves from a research center last Saturday by climbing over a barrel and an enclosure wall.
According to Texas Biomedical Research Institute, the facility holds about 1,100 baboons for vaccine tests and drug therapy.
The enclosure area has inward-leaning walls to keep baboons from escaping, but the blue barrels filled with grains were recently added so animals can roll them around to shake out food. However, one clever baboon figured out how to place a barrel upright and use it to get to the top of the wall. Three other baboons saw this and joined in on the great escape.
One baboon later decided to surrender and returned to the enclosure.
Southwest National Primate Research Center's animal care team captured two of the three baboons, while the last one was caught after it was called back with verbal and hand-signaling commands.
To avoid another great escape, the institute decided to remove the barrels.
The institute told Gizmodo the baboons were not being tested for meds that enhance intelligence, instead, the baboons in the corral are typically used for breeding.
In response to the incident, the institute said they have been caring for research baboons for more than 50 years. The baboons have played an important role helping develop life-saving drugs, therapies and vaccines, and helping scientists learn more about chronic human diseases.