How Greystoke Commandos liberated baboons from vivisection dungeon

activist, author, former political prisoner

Translated by Armelle Demmerle

Thirty-four years ago, a “commando” group named Greystoke, headed by Patrick Sacco, liberated 17 baboons from an animal testing laboratory in Gif-sur-Yvette, France. (The primates then are used for epilepsy research.)

Sacco, a professor of mathematics, and his team, observed every movement in those labs for four months. Activists compiled the relevant data: the time when the guards do their rounds, the shifts of those who experimented on the poor animals, and, through the windows, they also observed the tortures inflicted upon the poor monkeys.

The night between March 31 and April 1, 1985, two trucks approach with their headlights off. Watchmen take positions. Walkie-talkies crackle. The crowbars unseal the gates. The cages are loaded in vehicles. The group returned to a discreet area. The convoy separates the seven baboons who’s skulls were sawed off with electrodes attached to their brains and takes them to a vet. The ten others, not mutilated, went in “Le refuge de l’Arche,” à Château-Gontier (Mayenne)..

In the morning, the owner of the shelter, Christian Huchedé, discovered the bags containing the primates. They already had some, but these primates were frightened; they are silent. They ate bananas with skins. They had to learn to be baboons. 🙁

A few years later, according to the police investigations, 7 members of the group were arrested. Patrick Sacco, with the help of Brigitte Bardot, had a sentence of eight months suspended and was fined, but the bailiff seized all his property.
Patrick before leaving the house wrote a note:

“Please carry all what you want, but before closing the door, make sure to let the cats in the house.”


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