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The Life and Death of RQ5977

December 10, 2011

Image | SAEN


Please contact Dr. Gibbens and demand that he take immediate action against the Covance Research Products facility of Alice Texas for the deaths and traumatic injuries of multiple primates. See below for address details and sample letter.

Her birth date is recorded as 1/1/00. Her journey to the United States began overseas in China. Huge breeding farms in this nation hold tens of thousands of primates in captivity before sending them to the U.S. Facilities in this nation are virtually unregulated. The photograph of the rusted enclosure above is from such a facility.

She spent almost a decade in the U.S., apparently in the Alice (TX) holding facility owned by the Covance Research Products Company. During 2009 she was treated a total of 20 times including physical examinations, TB tests, treatments for parasites, weighing and physical exams. According to these records, nothing was wrong. In fact, she was examined only ten days before her death, and nothing was noticed. She was given a clean bill of health.

She arrived at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) on 10/29. Her records from UCSF paint a very different picture from the official Covance record. At 11:51 am she is listed as having “Several fresh puncture wounds on extremities (upper and lower).” There is “fresh blood in cage.” And she “is exhibiting SIB behavior (per DVM).” SIB means self-injurious behavior.

At 12:40 PM she is “Sitting up . . . several fresh abrasion/red marks on ® upper & lower arm.” Shortly after this she is anesthetized for a physical examination, using ketamine and acepromazine. Additional dosages of these drugs are given to maintain anesthesia when she starts to regain consciousness. All in all she is anesthetized from 12:57 PM to 2:55 PM for examination. At 2:55 an intravenous catheter is inserted and she is killed with 3 ccs of Euthasol.

Her body is described “Multiple SIB puncture wounds on plantar surfaces (soles) of both feet and on distal portions of legs and arms. Many wounds appeared to be several days old and most of the wounds on the feet were inflicted during the SIB episode earlier today. Evidence of acute and chronic SIB. Several deep and superficial puncture wounds present.”

She was never named. We know her only as RQ5977. But her suffering was not unique, many primates from this Covance facility have major injuries.

According to Covance records, RQ4571 was missing the pinnae of both ears, had a defect to the 5th finger of the right hand, and was missing the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th digits on the right hand. The right leg cannot be fully extended and had moderate muscle wasting.

RQ 4562’s right eyelid cannot close and the eye may have had a cataract. The right hip cannot fully extend and has muscle wasting. RQ5967 is missing the pinna of the left ear, the right 2nd finger is too short, and the right 3rd toe is missing 2 phalanges. RQ4373 has an eyelid that is scarred and fused to the eyebrow, which leads to overtearing. The pinnae of both ears are missing, the right thumb is deformed, the 3rd finger of the left hand is fused from an old fracture, part of the right mandible is missing.

Many other monkeys from this facility are missing fingers or toes, or have broken digits or damaged ears. Out of 31 animals discussed in these records, 19 of them had an injury of one type or another; this amounts to an injury rate of 61.3%. So much for captivity keeping animals safe.

The massive Covance facility that shipped these animals is almost too big to imagine. The last inspection showed that 7861 crab-eating macaques and 5464 rhesus macaques, or 13,325 primates total, were imprisoned here as of June of 2011. This inspection report also shows that there is a significant problem with the monkeys developing frost-bite injuries on their tails due to inadequate enclosures.

The information discussed here is from records for only a few animals, but it provides a reasonable picture. If we extend these numbers out, then it is likely that 8168 of the animals at this facility are injured. Thousands are missing fingers, toes, ears, tails, eyelids, or possibly even entire arms or legs. This is a veritable army of cripples, but there is no war –  thousands of injuries without a battlefield.

No place can the bloodbath be better seen than in that enclosure which held RQ5977 during the trip from Covance to UCSF. According to her records, many of her injuries were old, and so she may have been self-destructive while at Covance, before her trip began. By the time she arrived at UCSF she had multiple puncture wounds to her hands and feet, and all the way up her arms and legs. She was probably incarcerated in the small travel enclosure, not unlike a portable dog kennel, for one or two fear-filled days — locked inside the belly of an airplane or the back of a truck, totally isolated, with no idea what was happening to her, in darkness, possibly enduring changes in altitude;  she simply could not control her fear and stress. Attacking the cage did no good. There was nothing else available but her own body. Her wounds were severe enough that the only option was to kill her.

I am thankful that her misery ended, that she was prevented from any more suffering. She has been released from a world which she probably saw only as suffering and agony.

In reality, I never looked into that carrier. I never saw that desolate creature. I didn’t look into her crazed eyes. I didn’t touch her wounds. I didn’t wipe the blood from her body or her cage. But the images which her simple two-page description has generated are permanently etched into my mind. I know what abject suffering looks like.

Her life could have been worse; all of her suffering could have been heightened. Upon surviving the trip, she could have found her way into an experiment that caused brain damage, confined her to a restraint chair, deprived her of water, or even bolted devices into her skull.

Imagine to already be so agonized and then to have these things piled on to your helpless consciousness. To be so inundated with suffering that misery is the sum total of your existence. Every second is confinement, thirst, pain, isolation, and fear.

I doubt that anything we can endure can be as terrifying and as soul wrenchingly painful as what RQ5977 endured. Her captivity, her insanity, her utter inability to change her situation in any way, and her total isolation are all beyond anything we can even comprehend.

As gut wrenching as her situation was we must not turn away from it, for that would be the easy way out. We must somehow make it part of ourselves. We must keep her in our hearts. We must remember her because we owe her that much.

She will never have justice. We cannot give her her life back. We cannot somehow magically put her back in the wild where she belonged. The ten years that she spent inside the Covance Concentration Camp cannot be undone.

Why was she there so long? Why wasn’t she simply sold sooner? The answer is breeding. There are now ten years worth of her sons, daughters, grandsons, and granddaughters — generation upon generation of her progeny potentially at Covance. Or they may have been shipped to UCSF, in a cage just like hers. They could be at the University of Kentucky. It makes no difference where they are imprisoned, they are still inmates. They have an inheritance of confinement, a legacy of agony. It is up to us to do something about this. We owe it to them and to her.

The next time that our work seems overwhelming, the next time that the pictures are too hard to look at, the next time that it all seems too difficult, remember RQ5977. We owe her, and her children, a debt that cannot be paid. Remember them and keep going. Keep pushing, keep fighting, keep protesting – never give up. Members of our species have done this terrible thing to her and her family. Remember the eyes of this terrified, injured, bleeding monkey. Look in deeply. Drink in the agony of her soul. Drown.

It is up to us to make this right.



Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Western Region
2150 Center Ave.
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117



Send free fax from HERE directly from your computer. You don’t need a fax machine, you don’t need a credit card, and you don’t have to register. Please remember to check your email after you send the fax; you will need to confirm fax via legitimate email address.


Dear Dr. Gibbens,

I was shocked to learn about  the cruelty inflicted on primates as exploited by the Covance Research Products facility of Alice Texas for research, the efficacy of which is questionable at best, and lethal at worst. These experiments subject the primates to enormous suffering and pain, and I respectfully request that you take immediate action against Covance for their part in the deaths and mutilations of many of them.

The destination for the primates is an endless period of pain and suffering; these sentient beings are subjected to cruel and barbaric experiments, including surgical maiming and modified diets that promote heart disease, wasting, and death. Prior to this cruel fate these animals are exposed to dirty, diseased, cramped, and immobilizing conditions en route to laboratories in the US and Japan, and it is our moral and obligatory duty as responsible and empathetic citizens to expose this cruelty and effect an immediate cease to this illegal activity. As such, I implore upon you to thoroughly investigate Covance’s primate trade and suspend them permanently with the conclusion of such an investigation.

I know your time is limited, and I thank you for your concern and attention.

See More:


sent to a hell
but who so
deserved a heaven
primates are not numbers
they are not statistics
any so called
scientist who thinks so
is evil and sadistic

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Isa permalink
    December 10, 2011 4:36 pm

    I hope they all go to you know where..sadistic beings form hell!!!!!!


  2. December 10, 2011 4:58 pm

    I would love to get a group together and put these monsters in a cell and do to them what they do to these poor babies. Filty humans with no hearts or souls………


  3. karen lyons kalmenson permalink
    December 10, 2011 5:13 pm

    sent to a hell
    but who so
    deserved a heaven
    primates are not numbers
    they are not statistics
    any so called
    scientist who thinks so
    is evil and sadistic


  4. December 10, 2011 6:16 pm



  5. stephanie permalink
    December 10, 2011 6:22 pm

    Stupid fukkers.


  6. Tiziano permalink
    December 10, 2011 6:40 pm

    Yeah stop this,, It is insane,, All animal abusers should make a big bonfire and dive voluntary in to it for there own good!!! crazy fools


  7. December 10, 2011 6:54 pm

    does this ass wipe have a FAX NUMBER?


  8. Michael Seminario permalink
    December 10, 2011 9:50 pm

    The USDA. I just vomited in my mouth. Calls himself a doctor??? I wish it were funny, but we are about as far away from laughter as you can get. Just incredibly pathetic. I’m infuriated!!!!!! Put it this way, I didn’t exactly send a standard form letter… So sick of doing this over and over and over… There seems to be no shortage of sick, greedy, indifferent human shitheads to inflict the suffering or to just stand by and do nothing. So I will keep doing this over and over and over! FUCKIN’ RAGE…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never surrender… Keep swingin’….


  9. Michael Seminario permalink
    December 10, 2011 10:05 pm

    When I look at the picture above my heart grows so heavy… Heavy like an anvil. I can literally feel the fear and confusion coming from their eyes… I just wanna run to them… Rip those cages apart, take them in my arms and run as far away from that place as I could possibly get them. I can’t sleep at night. This is madness. I always had this feeling of impending doom growing up. I knew there was something behind the curtain. They don’t want us to see behind the curtain! When I was a little boy I was told there were no monsters, no real ones…But there are, aren’t there. I don’t know whats worse, my anger or my sadness. I stand and fight… “Til Death”


  10. Laura C. permalink
    December 10, 2011 11:43 pm

    Someday soon may we be looking at lab-coated vivisectors peering out pleadingly and confused from those enclosures, along with all their brethren not quite clever enough to make a career of it, the mouth-breathing hobbyists and such. It is they who should be in those cages, taken out only to be tortured. Damn them to Hell where they will get it all back many times over, as well for torturing all of us mentally/emotionally, continually.


  11. Kristi permalink
    December 11, 2011 11:48 am

    I cannot believe this is allowed to happen in the 21st century!!! How absolutely HORRIFIC!! I highly doubt faxes and e-mails will stop this torture. We really need a different approach. These vivisectors are perverted, serial killer mutants who should be in prison. This is an OUTRAGE!!!!!! Someone needs to film this and broadcast it through the media (similar to what Mercy For Animals does with factory farms).


  12. December 11, 2011 5:28 pm

    Done, shared


  13. LINDA BADHAM permalink
    December 12, 2011 2:09 pm



  14. December 14, 2011 5:00 am



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