Monkey Business at the Medical Center

A monkey sits on a fourth floor window ledge outside of Maternity HospitalOn a fall day in September 1972, the medical campus was on high alert for an escaped research patient.  A small rhesus macaque somehow broke loose from his quarters on the tenth floor of McMillan Hospital.  Now free to wander around on his own, this clever monkey was able to climb outside through an open window.  Surging with energy from his newfound freedom, he then ran across several window ledges and leapt to the roof of the neighboring Maternity Hospital.  From there, he jumped from one air conditioner to another, descending several stories in the process.  Unfortunately for the escapee, all of his jumping around attracted a lot of attention to his whereabouts. 

As a small crowd began to gather outside to watch the scene unfold and take part in the excitement, the monkey finally stopped for a rest outside a window on the fourth floor of Maternity Hospital.  With few other options, he camped out on the window ledge to wait out what would become an hours-long ordeal as a team of Washington University personnel, members of Barnes Hospital security, and Humane Society officers tried to figure out how to reach the elusive escapee.  Thoroughly enjoying his window with a view, the monkey could not be lured away from his perch, even when offered various treats.  After nearly four hours, Humane Society officers were able to ensnare the monkey with a loop attached to the end of a long pole, and he was pulled to safety.  

ABOVE:  The escaped rhesus macaque can be seen on a fourth floor window ledge at Maternity Hospital.

BELOW:  Maternity Hospital (left) and McMillan Hospital (right) with highlights noting the escape and capture areas.

Maternity Hospital (left) and McMillan Hospital (right)

This story was reported in the Barnes Hospital Bulletin (Volume 26, Issue 9, Page 6) in September 1972.  To find this article, or to discover other interesting stories, browse the BJC Healthcare Publications in Becker Library’s Digital Commons.