Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that The University of Oklahoma was cited by the USDA in January for mistreating animals in a research lab. Apparently, University workers were waterboarding baby monkeys (giving them hypothermia) and keeping baboons locked in filthy cages that are still probably cleaner than your roommate's bathroom.
Surprisingly, the local TV news media hasn't mentioned or touched this story since the USDA report was released in January. Considering they love nothing more than to report a sad news story about an abused dog, neglected horse, mistreated chinchilla, or nesting owls, you think they'd be all over it. I wonder what's keeping them from reporting it. I bet the answer rhymes with either "Bavid Doren" or "Gagvertising."
The Department of Agriculture cited the University of Oklahoma last month for hosing down infant monkeys and for housing baboons in enclosures filled with grime and excrement, according to an inspection report posted recently on the department’s website. The report follows a slew of recent citations against OU’s Health Sciences Center for electrocuting dogs and using inadequate doses of drugs to euthanize them, as well as improperly administering anesthesia or painkillers on additional animals.The Jan. 25 report found that the staff at Oklahoma sprayed 3-month-old baboons, leaving one “shivering and clearly distressed” and exposing all of them to the risk of hypothermia. The inspectors also found “an excessive build up of grime, debris, and excreta on the bars” of enclosures in which 12 baboons were kept. The center was also dinged for having a poorly trained staff that did not seem know that it is required to sanitize areas where animals are kept or how to clean the premises without harming animals.
That's crazy. I contacted OU regent Renzi Stone to comment on this story and he was as a puzzled as I was. "Holy shit, we have monkeys and baboons on campus?!? That's awesome," an excited Renzi said. "Why am I just now learning about this? Maybe we can use them to help the campus Organ Grinders Club. Tim Heskett could use a break from collecting coins."
Ok, I really didn't contact Renzi Stone, but seriously, why are we just now learning about this? I had no clue that OU conducted medical experiments on primates. I bet it's all part of David Boren's plan to turn the duck pond into his own private Island of Dr. Moreau. If one of those striking tuba players ends up missing, or if Joe Exotic gets an adjunct professor gig, we'll know something is up.
Of course, the program isn't that big of a secret. OU does have an obscure local social website dedicated to their "Baboon Research Resource Program." It even includes a pic of one of the program's baboons – we'll call him "Boomer" – who just learned he's going to live the rest of his life as a medical experiment in a shit-lined cage in Oklahoma:
Poor guy. To right a wrong, OU should give Boomer and all the other neglected monkeys and baboons to the Roughnecks. That would be awesome. Who would be opposed to it? Would you rather see monkeys and baboons getting waterboarded and living in filthy cages or riding onto Owen Field atop a covered wagon after OU scores a touchdown? The answer is easy. Roughnecks. I bet OU regent Renzi Stone would agree.