The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Plans To Breed Lab Monkeys

GUAYAMA, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico has such a bad history with research monkeys running amok, some residents are stunned that its territorial government has approved a plan to import and breed thousands of primates for sale to U.S. researchers.

Bioculture Ltd., with facilities at 19 sites around the world, has secured permits to begin operating next summer in Guayama, a small, depressed mountain district in southeastern Puerto Rico. They want to turn the Caribbean territory into a major supplier of primates, much to the dismay of islanders already dealing with a plague of patas monkeys — descendants of lab escapees that run though backyards, stop traffic and destroy crops.

The company, based in the African island nation of Mauritius, says the operation will employ at least 50 people and buy fruit from local farmers, an important consideration on an island where unemployment is nearly 16 percent.

"This will help many people in the community," said Olga Colon, a local school principal who has collected 300 signatures in support of the facility. She said Bioculture has pledged to buy supplies for her school.

But the project is opposed by everyone from Guayama Mayor Glorimari Jaime to Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro, who says it's unethical to breed monkeys for research, and renowned primatologist Jane Goodall.

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