Gregory the squirrel monkey has just started a new life at Florida Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary, along with 25 other monkeys who survived a 2014-17 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nicotine addiction experiment. A December 4 CNN feature shares more on these monkeys’ move to freedom.
The Gregory J. Reiter Memorial Fund was part of a coalition that helped White Coat Waste Project (WCW) give Gregory and his fellow monkeys this new life, joining forces with Dr. Jane Goodall and a bipartisan group of U.S. Congresspeople, among others.
“The most special thing about these particular monkeys,” says Jungle Friends founder and director Kari Bagnall, “is that they came out of the FDA, which has not released monkeys out of research in the past–and we are so happy that now the FDA is opting to retire monkeys after the research has ended.”
Born in May 2011, Gregory was shipped to the FDA National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Arkansas in October 2014. Over the next three years, he was among the group of monkeys who were caged, placed in restraint, and implanted with devices to deliver nicotine into their bloodstreams. Gregory suffered dehydration, hair loss, and unexplained wounds to his left forearm and right calf; and was observed chewing his own tail from stress. Four of the other test subject monkeys died.
Now, at Jungle Friends, Gregory and his fellow monkeys are receiving a gradual introduction to the natural environment that will soon be their lifelong home. After years in captivity, these monkeys are unfamiliar with things like branches and leaves, so the sanctuary has begun by putting a few such items in their cages. Next spring, Gregory and his friends will move to their new outdoor habitat–and they will finally live the life all monkeys should live!
More on this story in the Greg Fund March 19, 2018 blog post Saving a Monkey Named Gregory.