Third monkey death reported at Harvard-owned primate center

The USDA revealed in a report released this week that another monkey has died at Harvard University’s New England Primate Research Center in Southborough. That makes three primate deaths in the last 19 months for the Parmenter Road facility.

In the latest incident, which took place in December, the USDA said a spider monkey died from dehydration caused by a malfunctioning water dispenser. Another monkey also became dehydrated but survived.

The December death follows one in October 2011 in which a monkey died after it escaped during an imaging procedure and was captured with a handheld net. In February 2010 the facility received a warning after the body of a monkey was found in a cage that had been passed through a cage-washing machine.

In addition to the dehydration death, the report released this week details two other incidents in which monkeys were injured due to employee carelessness.

Reports the Metrowest Daily News:

(USDA spokesman David Sacks) said the latest report is especially serious because all three citations are “direct non-compliance issues,” meaning the animal’s welfare was directly affected by each misstep.

“That’s kind of top on the list you don’t want to be on,” Sacks said.

You can read more – including what Harvard has to say about the string of incidents – in this article by the Metrowest Daily News.

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