Runaway Sydney baboon gets the snip
A male baboon on his way to a vasectomy when he and two female companions escaped at a Sydney hospital has now undergone the snip.
The 15-year-old baboon and his two female companions escaped on Tuesday evening while being transported to a Royal Prince Alfred Hospital research facility in Camperdown.
The primate was due for a vasectomy while the two females were there for support, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said earlier this week.
The trio was seen running around a car park before they were corralled by police and medical experts, and tranquillised by handlers from Taronga Zoo.
Mr Hazzard on Wednesday said the primates were resting after a "big day out" and the male's vasectomy had been delayed until Thursday.
That operation has now been performed.
"The male baboon had his vasectomy procedure this morning and I was advised the procedure had gone well and he was sleeping and resting," Mr Hazzard said on Thursday.
"His two female companions were quite relaxed and comfortable."
The incident has reignited concerns over the welfare of animals used for experiments.
The baboons are part of a colony in western Sydney used for research on reproductive health, kidney disease and gestational diabetes.
Mr Hazzard has rubbished activists' claims that the animals are used for research into human-baboon hybrid organs to address the transplant crisis.
He said there was misinformation about transparency around animal research in NSW.
The baboons' great escape was mentioned in federal parliament on Thursday, with the Senate passing a Greens motion which noted community concern regarding the use of animals in medical research.
The motion "wished the baboons well" and called on the federal government to ensure transparency around animal research, invest in alternative methods, and move towards ending animal testing.
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