Baboon Escapee Has Finally Had His Vasectomy After Hospital Break Out
The male baboon at the centre of a wild police chase that gripped the nation earlier this week has had his vasectomy, as two of his 'wives' helped to comfort him.
The medical procedure is what led to the troop of baboons escaping a van and leading authorities on a zany search across the city's inner-west.
After days of delay and updates on the monkeys after their daring escape, the NSW health minister has confirmed the vasectomy was carried out.
"Vasectomy has been completed this morning as planned. Procedure went well," Brad Hazzard said on Thursday.
Hazzard probably never expected to be responsible for so many baboon updates when he started his week.
"He is now sleeping /resting. His two female family members are relaxed and happy."
Hazzard referred to the male baboon as "Houdini", after the monkey and his two female companions wandered around the Royal Prince Alfred hospital precinct on Tuesday. They reportedly busted out of a van, as the male baboon was taken to the hospital for a vasectomy.
Hazzard said the two females were considered his "wives" and they had been brought along to keep him calm.
Their escape had delighted many across Australia and the world, but the mood soon soured somewhat with the realisation that the animals were test subjects from an animal research site at Wallacia, near Penrith.
Animal rights groups will hold a demonstration outside RPA hospital on Sunday, in protest against animal testing. Some politicians have also spoken up about testing after the baboon escape.
"It's really hard to find out the information about what's happening to these animals because of the secrecy in this industry," Emma Hurst, of the Animal Justice Party, told 10 News First.
Greens politician Mehreen Faruqi moved a motion in the federal Senate on Thursday, calling on the government to "ensure national transparency and accountability in the use of animals in research, and invest in the methods and technology needed to end the use of animals for research purposes."
Faruqi said she "wishes the baboons well". Her motion -- calling on senators to recognise that "animal testing causes harm and suffering to animals" and that there is "community’s concern for the welfare of animals used in experimentation and research" -- passed the Senate on Thursday afternoon.
Federal health minister Greg Hunt resisted a question on Wednesday about why animal testing was still required in Australia, but also wished the baboons well.
"Other than the story as reported through the ABC, which was where I learned about the baboons, I don’t have any extra information. I have to say, my heart was with the baboons. And so, beyond," he said.
Hunt said he was "fine with" the baboons which "operated as a modern relationship" -- seemingly in reference to the claimed polygamous relationship of the baboon trio.
Hazzard actually seemingly referred to the male baboon having up to six wives on Wednesday, tweeting that there were "Four other females" in their "family".