by Masha Hargreaves
Although Alpha Genesis boasts of providing the most physically and psychologically healthy primates on the market, medical records and necropsy reports paint a different picture. Chronic stress has a profound effect on the physical and psychological health of captive primates and the monkeys at Alpha Genisis demonstrate many stress related disorders.
Hundreds of monkeys at the facility are reported to have hair loss due to over grooming, a stereotypic behavior generally caused by stress. Colitis and enteritis, also common stress indicators, account for over 30 deaths reported in 2009-2010. These chronic inflammations of the GI tract cause diarrhea, poor weight gain and muscle wasting. The health effects of long term stress not only degrade the health of these animals, they also waste valuable research dollars by interfering with experimental results.
Fatal trauma accounted for over 25 monkey deaths at Alpha Genesis in 2009-2010. Many of the monkeys killed by trauma were infants. For example one monkey was euthanized after being found with the
“left leg detached at the knee, severed, hanging by skin. Rectum totally detached from anal tissue and skin…Left arm displaced at shoulder with puncture wound.”
This monkey was pulled through a fence by a female in a neighboring pen. Another monkey was found with a
“large open wound to the scalp, skull fracture, brain exposed.”
And yet another had a chest wound exposing the heart. Infanticide is a common problem in psychologically unhealthy monkey colonies. However, the high incidence of trauma is not limited to infants.
Necropsy reports detail many cases of fatal trauma in adult monkeys as well. Medical examination reports of living monkeys also support the evidence that trauma is a common problem for animals at Alpha Genesis. In these documents, many monkeys are reported to be missing one or both ears. Broken and fractured digits on the hands and feet are also common. Many monkeys are missing multiple fingers and toes. Medical reports detail one monkey with an “open wound to hand, finger bone exposed.” Other monkeys are missing all or part of their tails.
A remarkable number of monkeys are reported to have old trauma wounds on various parts of their bodies.
The high incidence of trauma among monkeys at AG exposes grave lapses in the quality of their primate programs. On its website, Alpha Genesis claims “there is no better boarding school.” However, necropsy reports reveal that monkeys at their facility died from a range of issues including fatal trauma, heat stroke, stress, pneumonia and complications with anesthesia. Monkey #DM5P was full-term pregnant when she died of heat stroke. More than seven other monkeys died of causes related to heatstroke. Another monkey was killed in what is described as an “enrichment injury” which caused heat stroke and cardiac arrest. An infant monkey was found “badly decomposed, eaten by ants.” It seems the monkey was allowed to decompose on the ground of its pen before being removed. In fact, several monkeys were so badly decomposed at the time of necropsy that no valuable information regarding their deaths could be obtained.
Other causes of death at the facility include pneumonia, chronic enteritis and colitis, complications with anesthesia and maternal rejection of infants. Alpha Genesis is not only letting down the monkeys in their care, they are also wasting the tax dollars which fund its boarding programs. Would you board your dog or cat at a facility with this record?
Necropsy Breakdown – Of 124 necropsies, causes of death (examples provided) include:
Heatstroke: at least 8 cases
Primate # TA-548: cause of death : heatstroke resulting in cardiac failure
Fatal Trauma: over 25 cases, many involving infants
Primate# CV1C: “Skin wounds everywhere, worst seen.” “Summary: severe trauma, systemic bacterial infection”
Primate# DL19: Euthanized due to“severe trauma arms, legs and face. Necrotic tissue on both forearms, fingers black (8)- not viable”
Colitis/Enteritis: over 30 cases
Primate# FB9P: found “lethargic, dehydrated, sunken-eyed.” Euthanized due to “hemorrhagic enteritis.”
Complications with anesthesia: 2 cases
Primate# DV42: cause of death: “cardiac arrest secondary to anesthetic complications.”
Autolysis, too decomposed to yield results: at least 5 cases
Primate# T-A548: “Badly decomposed, eaten by ants. Unable to find anything of diagnostic value.”
Failure to Thrive: at least 5 cases
Pneumonia: more than 5 cases
Maternal rejection: 4 cases
Other interesting necropsy findings:
Primate# DV43: “Enrichment injury causing heat stroke and death.”Animal found with left arm swollen to twice the normal size.
Primate # T-A099: Euthanized due to septicemia. A badly healed fracture resulted in an abscess and a severe systemic infection.
Primate# DJ4T: Despite having severe muscle atrophy with “permanant constricture of the elbows and knees,” this primate was not euthanized. Instead, she died of enteritis.
Primate #DM5P: This primate”s pregnancy was full term when she died of heat stroke.
Alpha Genesis Inc. 2010 Medical reports:
The following excerpts from 2009-2010 medical reports reveal a grim situation for monkeys at a facility which claims to “provide the highest standard of care” to the animals it maintains. An asterisk indicates a monkey’s status as a “boarder.” Because tax dollars pay to board hundreds of monkeys at Alpha genesis, the poor condition of these animals is particularly relevant.
*Primate# DN1D: “right eyelid ripped off”
*Primate# DP9B: “Trauma to entire face. Skin on skull soft as if pussed up.”
*Primate# DX1K: “Alopecia ( hair loss) on entire body.”
*Primate# FE39: “Alopecia on back and leg, appears to be from aggression. Small puncture wound on right leg.”
*Primate# FB4K: “3rd digit on left hand broken, healed wrong.”
*Primate# FA7L: “Diarrhea, missing all fingers on right hand.”
*Primate# A648: “1st digit on left foot broke, vet to amputate. Eyes are puffy and swollen. Abrasions to face.”
*Primate# CP5H: “Right ear missing, left ear missing half.”
*Primate # DP3C: “Bruised on face, head and arms.
Primate# DJ2T: Third Trimester pregnant, “has no nipples.”
Primate# DP82: “In clinic on treatment, severe trauma on left side.”
Primate# FA2K: “Right hand missing digits 1 and 2. Right ear healed tear. 2/3 tail missing.”
Primate #CG74: “in clinic on treatment for arm amputation.”
Primate# CV16: “degloved tail