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Monkey Island, a curious destination to study human behavior

Monkey Island, a curious destination to study human behavior

Although there are animal rights organizations that have criticized some practices, since 2018 it has been internationally protected.

More than 80 years ago, a colony of monkeys was founded that functions as a animal psychology laboratory in Humacao (Puerto Rico), considered the oldest and purest in the world. Although it was not declared an official scientific reserve until 2018. He was the primatologist Clarence Carpeter who first traveled to India to buy the first 400 rhesus macaques, one of the best-known species of monkeys in Asia. Its objective was the same as the current one, observe the behaviors of these animals to compare them with humans. Today the population is close to 2,000, divided into 12 groups to facilitate study.

The only humans who can access are researchers and caregivers who belong to institutions as relevant as Harvard, Imperial College London or Columbia. This Puerto Rican island was divided into two islets in 2017, due to the Cyclone Maria. However, the monkeys had no problem overcoming the disaster. After the event, scientists estimated about 60 deaths, but when they were able to verify it, they discovered that They had survived and continued with their normal lives. In fact, according to a Current Biology study, they “became more social” and resourceful.

The director of Caribbean Primate Research Center of the Medical Sciences Campus (RCM) of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Melween Martínez, stated in a statement: “The great physiological and anatomical similarity that rhesus macaque monkeys have with human beings places the colony that resides in Cayo Santiago in a position key to carry out scientific studies on conditions that human beings suffer from“. Experts today continue to analyze demographics, nutrition, diseases, genetics, socialization, autism, homosexuality, ecology.

Currently, macaques carry a virus that does not affect them but can cause very serious damage to humans, leaving the person who catches it and does not die paraplegic. Scientists must be very careful with this, since it can be spread by scratches or bites through mucous membranes and open wounds. Although what continues to surprise the scientific community the most is the hurricane mystery. The scientists said goodbye to the key when they knew what was going to happen; they did not expect to be able to study the colony again. The trauma was reflected in some of them as accelerated aginga new way of communicating a fatality between them, an increase in solidarity as a result of the scarcity they experienced.

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Source: Viajar



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