Once they labored in research labs, the subject of scientific experiments. Now it's a life of leisure for 26 squirrel monkeys newly retired from the Food and Drug Administration and living in a Florida sanctuary.
In 2014, the FDA conducted a study regarding the effects of nicotine in squirrel monkeys. The agency hoped to learn how reducing nicotine levels would impact humans, but their research didn't last long enough to make a conclusion.
The White Coat Waste Project advocacy group sued the FDA in 2017 after claims that their Freedom of Information Act request was not appropriately fulfilled. Primatologist Jane Goodall pushed the outcry further after opposing the research in a letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. Gottlieb soon ended the study, and sent the animals to Jungle Friends, a primate sanctuary in Gainesville, Fla., that's home to over 300 such refugees from research labs and ex-pets.
Now the retirees enjoy “music hour” to songs like the Youngbloods' “Get Together” and play with each other as they prepare for life outdoors.
“Sometimes they're a little nervous about that, and they've never been outside. It's a gradual process, and it will probably take four to five months,” sanctuary founder Kari Bagnall told CNN.