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NOT WORTH LIVING: The ‘examined’ life of Dorothy, a monkey used for breeding and experiments

Dorothy was kept immobile for hours. In 2017, experimenters made an incision in her head, drilled a hole in her skull, and surgically implanted and cemented a titanium post.

PETA: Dorothy was a rhesus macaque born on April 1, 1993, at a Texas laboratory, where she was kept in a pen with other monkeys and eventually used as a breeding machine. There, over the course of 20 years, she gave birth to 13 babies, all of whom were taken from her. By December 2015, she was clearly geriatric but was still considered useful to laboratories, because she hadn’t been subjected to any invasive surgeries or used in any experiments.

So she was sold to the University of Washington’s Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC), where she was renamed A15378. At the WaNPRC, when she was 22 years old, she was confined alone to a small metal cage for the first time in her life. She was assigned to experimenter Elizabeth Buffalo’s study, purportedly on the neurobiology of human aging…

Dorothy was kept immobile for hours in this grossly unnatural position, and she was only offered food or water when she correctly performed certain memory tasks. She was expected to “acclimate” to being hungry and held by her neck in this chair. She never did… In late 2017, experimenters made an incision in Dorothy’s head, drilled a hole in her skull, and surgically implanted and cemented a titanium post. It hadn’t been enough to restrain her by the neck for hours—now, they could control her even more by plugging her directly into the testing apparatus for hours a day…

Dorothy was already a thin monkey when she arrived at the WaNPRC, but by late 2017, she was steadily losing weight. Her appetite was poor, she was anemic, and she had long ago pulled out all of her hair—a sign of extreme anxiety. She suffered from decreased range of motion in her hips, and she was constipated, her stomach often distended. By late March 2018, she had lost more than 20% of her body weight…

According to food restriction guidelines for primates used in biomedical experimentation provided by the Association of Primate Veterinarians, Dorothy’s weight loss alone was reason enough to remove her from “food restriction motivational regimes” such as the one she was on. But no… Buffalo’s laboratory claimed that Dorothy was merely constipated, and it refused to stop the daily torture, which went on for another month. On May 8, 2018, a WaNPRC veterinarian euthanized Dorothy. Shortly after, her body was cut apart and examined…

During the… the final years of her life Dorothy never had a fellow monkey companion. Humans exploited her until her final days, when her frail, diseased body had withered and collapsed under the pressure of unrelenting experimentation and she was euthanized… Dorothy was capable of love, joy, happiness, and affection. But to experimenters like those in Buffalo’s lab at WaNPRC, she was only a tool whose needs and emotions didn’t matter. As is the case with millions of other animals used in experiments every year, once she was of no more use to her captors, she was simply killed, discarded, and replaced. SOURCE…

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