Reward posted for information on ALF

Sarah McKenzie

A reward fund has been established to compensate anyone with information leading to the arrest of the vandals who raided a dozen University research labs Monday.
Although the exact amount of the reward has not yet been determined, insiders predict an award in the five-figure range.
“I expect it to be in the thousands,” said Charles Nye, a patient whose brain cells were being analyzed in a destroyed University laboratory. Nye said he plans to make a large contribution to the fund, which is being collected from private donors by the Minnesota Medical Foundation.
Nye, a University graduate and owner of a Minneapolis manufacturing company, has undergone treatment for brain cancer at the University. Several of his cells were being studied in one of the labs destroyed, but Nye said it is not certain if the research data has been irrevocably harmed by the vandalism.
The Animal Liberation Front, an international animal rights organization, claimed responsibility Monday for the damage done to two University research facilities. Officials estimate the damage to reach more than $2 million.
Insurance adjusters have not yet released the finalized estimate from Monday’s damages.
More than 100 lab animals — including pigeons, rats and salamanders — were taken from labs in Elliott Hall and Lions Research Building.
Members of the Student Organization for Animal Rights held a candlelight vigil Wednesday night for the freed animals.
Brandon Noard, a sociology senior, said SOAR members organized the demonstration late Tuesday evening. More than half of the group’s 50 members planned to attend the vigil.
“We expect it to be pretty quiet,” Noard said.
SOAR members support the actions of ALF, Noard said.
In a statement released Wednesday, SOAR members said: “We will be thinking not only of those who were freed, but those who had to be left behind and who are still in harm’s way.”
In other developments, researchers have found 12 of the 27 pigeons stolen in Monday’s break-ins, officials said.
Researchers rescued the pigeons along Interstate 94 in Woodbury on Tuesday afternoon.
Cynthia Gillett, director of the University’s Research Animal Resources, said they might soon add one more pigeon to the group of recovered birds.
Officials planned Wednesday to identify another white pigeon with a red band found near Elsworth, Wisc., Gillett said.
Other unconfirmed pigeon spottings in Robbinsdale and Coon Rapids were also reported to officials Wednesday.
The recovered pigeons will continue to be used by the researchers, Gillett said. All birds were found unscathed.
“They were pretty hungry,” Gillett said. “They weren’t able to get food in that environment.”
Graduate students in psychology have used the pigeons to study learning and memory processes, she said. The students trained the birds for a more than a year for their project.