Davis, CA

After monkey left in a hot van died, PETA now asks to cut primate centers' funding back by $30 mil.


PETA recently requested an investigation into an alleged incident at the University of California campus where a monkey was left unattended in a van on May 12, 2023.

Fine art portrait of Rhesus macaquePhoto bySourabh via Adobe Stock

Staff at the University of California Davis campus' (UCD) California National Primate Research Center were transporting two rhesus macaques for a procedure. They had left the van's heater on due to the external temperature of 61 degrees Fahrenheit. While they took one monkey inside the facility, they left the other unattended in the vehicle.

During the first animal's transportation, complications arose, resulting in the staff leaving the van unattended longer than usual. When the team checked on the animal for the second time, they found the monkey unresponsive.

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Despite their efforts to resuscitate the animal, it remained unconscious and was eventually put down humanely. Upon investigation, it was found that the van's heater lacked thermostatic control. The vent temperature was measured to be 130 degrees, likely leading to the monkey's hyperthermic death.

Consequently, the facility has immediately ceased transporting two animals at once. The staff will now use thermostatically controlled heaters and air conditioning units during animal transportation to avoid such tragedies in the future.

United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Inspection Report for University of California DavisPhoto bySDOC News/USDA

PETA is urging Congress to strip $30 million allocated for primate centers in the funding bill after the USDA reported another incident citation at UCD that has been reported by the USDA as 'corrected.'

In May 2023, a male macaque who was overweight was moved from indoor housing to outdoor housing because previous attempts to help him lose weight had failed. The enclosure he was placed in had an area of about 400 square feet and housed 14 juvenile macaques.

After several months, on August 22, 2023, the staff noticed that the monkey was lethargic, had diarrhea, and possibly had lost weight. The team immediately brought him to the veterinarian for a checkup. Despite receiving supportive care and undergoing diagnostic procedures, the monkey was diagnosed with metabolic fatty liver syndrome, resulting in his humane euthanization on August 23 23.

Watch the video below for more information on training with Rhesus Macaques at UC Davis CNPRC

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