Not even a mother's devotion was enough to protect Cocoa from the misery that she endured in a Wisconsin laboratory.
Months after she was attacked by a severely stressed adult macaque at the facility—leaving her face raked by deep, painful cuts—Cocoa's wounds still hadn't fully healed, and she clung to her mother in fear.
A landmark six-month PETA undercover investigation into the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (WNPRC)—one of seven federally funded primate prisons in the U.S.—has revealed the pain, fear, and neglect that thousands of monkeys endure in barren steel cages day in and day out. Many pace or rock ceaselessly as they lose their minds from intensive confinement, while others pull their hair out until they're nearly bald. When fights broke out between incompatible cagemates—as can happen when severely stressed monkeys' complex social structures are disrupted—there was no escape for weaker monkeys like Cocoa.
She and her mother were far from the only individuals who endured agony and psychological torment at the WNPRC. One monkey named Ellie lost part of her ear in a fight, while another animal—known only as r12050—mutilated his own leg down to the muscle, then picked and scratched compulsively at the open wound out of frustration. Vulnerable baby monkeys like Turnip and Cora—whose mother was reportedly killed in a caesarean section experiment—were stuck in a basement with little more than a stuffed animal to "comfort" them.
The WNPRC and other national primate "research" centers have received billions in federal funding under the guise of studying human disease—even after PETA exposés and a massive list of animal welfare citations proved that they apparently can't manage to keep our fellow primates healthy, safe, or even alive.
But for some monkeys, it's not too late.
The day after we revealed the hideous conditions and heartbreaking neglect at the WNPRC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) confirmed that they had launched their own investigations into the facility. Today, we're calling for the WNPRC to be shut down and dialing up pressure on NIH to redirect federal funds away from pointless tests on animals.
Monkeys need us. Will you strengthen our vital work to spare these sensitive, social animals a lifetime of misery?