We’ve always known primates were smart — almost as smart as their human cousins. But when four baboons broke out of a biomedical research facility Saturday evening, they may have proven themselves more intelligent than the humans holding them. The four escaped primates were reportedly part of a group of 133 male baboons who used an unorthodox method to escape.
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The baboons, which live at the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio, Texas, escaped by using a large barrel, the Huffington Post reported.
Lisa Cruz, a spokesperson for the research center, made it clear that the baboons were not being tested on or under immediate duress. “The baboons in the corral are in holding and are typically used for breeding or they’re holding until we know what type of study they may be used for.”
The four escape artists got over a massive inward built wall designed just for that reason — to keep the primates from climbing out and escaping.
Thankfully for the baboons, a large 55-gallon barrel was left unattended. The baboons placed the barrel in an upright position and ultimately used it to make their escape, CNN reported.
The barrels are used for feeding and are filled with grain to allow the baboons ready access to food so that they can mimic their normal “foraging behaviors,” the typical way primates feed themselves.
The baboons’ perp walk was captured on Twitter as they were seen running down a road. That must have been quite a sight for the witness who recorded the video.
Four baboons escaped their enclosure at a San Antonio biomedical research facility Saturday. A woman then spotted one leading researchers on a wild foot chase down a Texas highway.
— ABC News (@ABC) April 15, 2018
The research center’s employees were able to secure the four baboons and returned them to their enclosure. A statement released by the research center following the wild antics informed the public that the baboons were “doing good.”
People from all over the world took to social media to argue that the baboons’ resourcefulness and hard work should earn them their freedom.
However, at this time, there are no current plans to move the baboons to a sanctuary.