Abstract # 13147 Event # 23:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 9, 2018 10:00 AM-10:15 AM: (Regency West 1/3) Oral Presentation


THE CARIBBEAN PRIMATE RESEARCH CENTER: OVERVIEW OF FACILITIES, RESEARCH FOCII AND CURRENT CHALLENGES AFTER HURRICANE MARIA. M.I. MARTÍNEZ CARIBBEAN PRIMATE RESEARCH CENTER, MEDICAL SCIENCES CAMPUS, UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO, PO BOX 365067, SAN JUAN, PR 00936

M. I. Martinez1,2
1Caribbean Primate Research Center, Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico, PO Box 365067, San Juan, PR 00936-5067, USA, 2Medical Sciences Campus-UPR
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     The Caribbean Primate Research Center (CPRC) consists of two integrated animal facilities: the island of Cayo Santiago (CS) originated in 1938, and the Sabana Seca Field Station (SSFS). On September 20, 2017 Hurricane Maria, a category 4 catastrophic phenomenon, devastated Puerto Rico from coast to coast leaving 100% of its population without electricity. Its force pounded both sites of the CPRC, Cayo Santiago being the first to be impacted with 155 miles/hour winds. Two cement water cisterns used to supply water to 1,700 free-range indian origin rhesus macaques that inhabit this island, were the only structures that survived the event. However, the devastation of CS was not enough for this forceful system, which also produced severe damage to SSFS that house 3,000 rhesus monkeys. Resiliency is the word that characterized the heroic effort that has been conveyed to restore this iconic primate resource, while maintaining the wellbeing of the animals. Important lessons have been learned from the experiences lived before, during and after Hurricane Maria. In a moment like this, not only rebuilding the essential infrastructure is important, but also the emotional recuperation of the staff. There are still a lot of challenges to be faced, but the support of the staff, our Institution, NIH, researchers, the NPRCs, non-profit foundation, and volunteers, have been fundamental in the planning required for a successful recovery.