Vigil held in honor of animals

Photo/Jonathan Chapman
College of Liberal Arts freshman Stephanie Clausen and members of the Student Organization for Animal Rights protested the use of animals for research Wednesday evening outside the Lions Research Building. Members of the Animal Liberation Front took more than 100 animals from a dozen labs in Elliott Hall and the Lions Research Building early Monday morning. More than $2 million in University research equipment was also damaged during the heist. The candlelight vigil honored the stolen animals, as well as those still in the labs. University researchers added eight white labs rats Wednesday to the list of animals recovered from the heist. Only three of the rats survived their journey into the wild; five froze to death. University scientists are monitoring the condition of the recovered rats for possible ailments like pneumonia. Ed Craig, a University Research Animal Resources supervisor, said Woodbury, Minn. police officers spotted the rats along Interstate 94 in the same area researchers recovered pigeons on Tuesday. Psychology graduate students had trained the rodents for more than a year for use in behavioral study experiments, Craig said. The three rats rescued will not be fit for the research projects, he said. Homes for the animals will be found. Researchers have recovered 14 pigeons in addition to the eight rats found Wednesday. Callers from Farmington, Minn. also reported seeing white pigeons, Craig said. “People have been very supportive,” Craig said. Private donors have established a $10,000 reward fund for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the vandals. The University Police Department has set up a tipline for anyone with information related to the incident. Calls can be made to: (612) 378-1914.
— Sarah McKenzie