Out of Sight, Out of Mind – and in the Flood

What makes this story even sadder is the thought of how it might have been prevented. When it comes to saving animals from storms—and saving expensive lab equipment, too—the nation’s leading research institutions have a shaky record of achievement. In 2001, a tropical storm called Allison flooded Houston with several feet of rain and pushed 10 million gallons of water into the medical-school basements at the University of Texas. The disaster drowned at least 4,000 rats and mice, along with 78 monkeys, 35 dogs, and 300 rabbits. (More than half the animals on campus had been living underground.) Nearby, at the Baylor College of Medicine, basement flooding killed 30,000 mice.* “We will never place animals or critical equipment in the basement again,” said the president at U.T.

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