6 monkey deaths at Oregon Zoo prompt federal investigation of Harvard primate center

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investigating the New England Primate Research Center run by Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts in response to the deaths of six monkeys at the Oregon Zoo last year, shortly after they arrived from the center.

The Boston Globe reported Friday (http://bit.ly/1I0mF3K ) that the department confirmed the investigation, but didn't release details.

A Harvard Medical School spokeswoman said the deaths of the six tamarin monkeys in Oregon last May triggered the USDA investigation. The medical school said in a statement that the monkeys arrived at the zoo in good condition.

The Primate Research Center in Southborough is scheduled to close in May.

Oregon Zoo officials could not determine how the six monkeys died, but said they all showed signs of systemic shock.


Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com