There is a distinguished set at the Medical School whose members got there without ever passing a Chem course or struggling through an aptitude exam. They never take the Hippocratic oath yet cheerfully devote their lives to the cause of humanity.
Residing in three select houses, this polyglot community boasts representatives from Java, India, and Egypt, Mass. But a rigid caste system enforced by strict segregation bars intermingling among those of different ancestry and background.
Two chimpanzees, a baboon, five sheep, 40 chinchilla rabbits, three white rabbits, 25 dogs, several cats, and innumerable chickens, mice, and guinea pigs all presently make their home in the oldest of the Med School's three Animal Farms.
John Landry, who presides over this venerable establishment, has been manager of the farm for the past 12 of its 25 years. However, the number and breed of inmates varies from week to week, he explained, because the farm buys and houses animals at the specific requests of each department. Deers, goats, oppossoms, and hundreds of monkeys have lived there at one time or another.
Several years ago one of the monkeys escaped through a ventillation duct, roamed around the building for a few days, finally jumped out a window and was eventually treed by a frantic search party.
On another occasion a medical student, armed with bananas, patiently taught a female chimpanzee how to reach through the bars and open her cage. The cunning animal learned so well that she promptly liberated every monkey in the place and eventually had to be isolated when she began instituting her own cage-opening courses.
Franny and Joe, both four-year-old chimpanzees, have been living at the farm for the past eight months. Franny is now quite tame but Joe retains such asocial habits as biting, and ripping shirts off his keeper's back.
Both chimps, and a baboon were bought from a breeder in Egypt, Mass. Doga and cats, however, must be obtained from outside the state as local kennels, because of anti-vivisectionist pressure, are unwilling to supply experimental animals.
Landry says anti-vivisection people generally tour the building once or twice a year and take a few pictures but never cause any serious trouble.
In addition to procuring animals as they are needed for research work, the Animal Farm always keeps an ample supply of guinea pigs and white mice on hand at all times.
The newest Animal Farm is in the Dental School and was built in the fall of 1950. It boasts six animal rooms and five accessory rooms for experimentation and breeding.
Aside from keeping and breeding the usual small animals--hamsters, rats, mice--this Animal Farm has successfully bred monkeys. It now possesses a baby Java and a baby rhesus. Both varieties of monkeys are used in a study of the endocrine factors in tooth decay.
Newer, airier, and brighter, the nine-year-old Animal Farm of the Division of Infectious Diseases occupies on adjoining building. This house serves the School of Public Health, the Department of Bacteriology, the Children's Medical Center, the Children's Hospital, and the Polio Foundation.
Rhesus monkeys, imported directly from India, make up much of this Animal Farm's present population. A number of them have been innoculated with polio as part of a current research study. Others have been given mumps and measles.
On the second floor the four breeding rooms produce an average of four thousand mice a month. The process, though possibly hard on the females, puts the males in an extremely enviable position.
Four females are put in a box with a single male. After 18 days, the pregnant females are removed and four fresh ones are put at the male's disposal. Mean-while, the young are weaned and ready to be sold 21 days later.
This building also shelters 400 chickens a number of roosters, and a peculiar rodent known as the cotton rat which is indigenous to the Southwest United States and can jump over a man.