A male baboon that dodged a vasectomy after escaping from a truck in the car park of a Sydney hospital will have his operation tomorrow.
The baboon, along with his two wives who with him for ‘moral support’ sparked a widespread police hunt when they fled Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s research facility in Camperdown on Tuesday night before being recaptured.
New South Wales health minister Brad Hazzard has given an update on the escapees, whose antics have made headlines around the world, and revealed that the male baboon actually has six wives.
Writing on Twitter Mr Hazzard said the 15-year-old male baboon will now undergo his planned vasectomy on Thursday.
He added that all three baboons were ‘well and resting’ after their ‘big day out’ and will ‘join their family (4 other females) post op. tomorrow’.
The escapees enjoyed a big hearty breakfast on Wednesday, according to the health minister
The trio enjoyed a hearty breakfast of bananas, capsicum, apple and bread the morning after their exciting but short-lived adventure.
The escapees were part of a colony bred at the federal government’s National Health and Medical Research Council facility in Wallacia in Sydney’s west.
NSW Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi announced on Wednesday she will move a motion in the Senate acknowledging the Sydney baboons and highlighting the harm and suffering caused by animal testing.
‘The government must invest in the methods and tech needed to end the use of animals for research,’ she tweeted.
A long-running Change.org petition calling on the federal government to end medical experiments on primates has grown to more than 66,000 signatures in the wake of the failed escape bid.
A group of baboons (pictured) have escaped from a research facility at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown
The petition was originally started several years ago by Humane Research Australia, who now hope to make Australians more aware of the bleak future the recaptured baboons now face.
‘While the industry is shrouded in secrecy, much of this research is funded by taxpayers through the National Health and Medical Research Council,’ chief executive Helen Marston said in a statement.
‘Not only is this a cruel and unethical industry, it is a huge waste of precious resources – funding and time that would be better spent on research methods that are applicable to humans – not a pseudo-model of a human that is more likely to lead to erroneous data’
‘Sadly, the three baboons captured will now face a lifetime of imprisonment, being subjected to invasive experiments.’
The male baboon escapee (pictured) has had his vasectomy rescheduled for Thursday
The baboons were on the loose outside one of Sydney’s busiest hospitals for more than an hour before they recaptured by animals handlers and police in the hospital car park after a 90-minute stand off.
The trio escaped through a truck door while being transported to the hospital.
Mr Hazzard told The Daily Telegraph that the 15-year-old male was accompanied by his two wives to keep him comfortable before his operation.
‘The two girls came as effectively his wives to keep him company while he had his vasectomy, then they will all return back home to his family troupe,’ Mr Hazzard said.
‘He can stay there with his family without having any more babies which could be problematic.’
Dramatic pictures captured the primates wandering on Missenden Road.
A woman told 2GB Radio that her daughter, who is an occupational therapist at Royal Prince Alfred, had helped to wrangle the baboons.
‘She texted me, ‘Mum, they were psychotic’,’ she said.
Mr Hazzard said the baboons are used for medical research in the hospital.
‘The research includes reproductive issues, kidney disease, gestational diabetes, a whole range of research areas and with the conclusion of the research they return to the colony in Western Sydney and they usually just live their lives out until old age,’ he said.
NSW Police told Daily Mail Australia no one was injured in the recapturing process.