Baboons on the loose returned to Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Woman captures baboon on camera

By Japhanie Gray - Reporter, Ivan Herrera - Web Producer

SAN ANTONIO - Primates on the run!

Texas Biomedical Research Institute confirmed that four of its baboons escaped around 3:15 p.m. Saturday, but three of them were caught within 20 minutes. The fourth baboon returned to the enclosure.

Pictures sent in by a KSAT 12 viewer show what appears to be a primate running along a street near Military Drive between Loop 410 and Highway 151.

One woman said she saw witnessed the escaped baboon running around on the road.

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"It was furry and it was brown and it was pretty big," Jannelle Bouton said of the primate.

The baboon was one of the four that had escaped from the institute, which conducts research on chronic and infectious diseases.

"The baboon stopped at one point and he was just looking, and then it darted into the bushes and these guys are frazzled and they are freaking out," Bouton said of the people who were chasing the monkey.

The Texas Biomedical Research Institute said workers had everything under control and the public has nothing to worry about.

"You can tell that (the workers) were panicking because they didn't want him to get hurt because they were trying their best to quarantine him, but being that kind of animal, he wasn't having it," Bouton said.

Bouton said she's not too worried about the monkeys' escaping, but she is concerned for their well-being.

"The fact that (the workers) had medical masks on and it's a wild animal, it is a monkey. You just want to know what they are doing is safe," she said.

Bouton said she's happy she caught it all on camera.

"To be outside and see him outside of a fence, it was definitely different," she said.

The Texas Biomedical Research Institute released the following statement: 

"Our immediate concern has been for the safety of the animals, personnel and our neighbors in the surrounding area. Our animal capture team and entire animal care team acted diligently to locate, secure and account for all four baboons."

The institute said the animals were seen by veterinary staff members and are doing well. It also provided the following details about the baboons:

"We have nearly 1100 baboons on the property that date back eight generations. These baboons are critical to biomedical research, particularly in chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity and more."

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