Abstract # 13213 Event # 162:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 11, 2018 10:00 AM-10:15 AM: (Chula Vista ) Oral Presentation


D. L. Hannibal1,2, A. C. Nathman1, B. A. Beisner1,2, N. S. Lin1 and B. McCowan1,2
1California National Primate Research Center, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA, USA, 2University of California-Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Population Health & Reproduction
     Due to primate adaptations for sociality, captive rhesus macaques have optimal welfare and utility as a biomedical model when they can be maintained in outdoor social groups. As a despotic species, however, aggression can result in costly injuries and may result in temporary or permanent removal of specific individuals from social housing. Enrichment items, such as toys, climbing structures, and foraging material, are employed to keep captive animals occupied. We hypothesized that produce enrichment that requires more processing to eat may reduce socially-derived injuries by keeping animals occupied. We tested the effects of additional weekly foraging foods (whole squash, melon, or corn-in-husk) on trauma incidence in an outdoor social group of rhesus macaques at the California National Primate Research Center. Aggression and status behavioral data, food resource use and proximity, and trauma incidence were collected over a 16-week period, with eight control and treatment conditions alternating biweekly. Mixed-effect logistic regression modeling and an information theoretic approach were used to determine the best predictors of trauma risk. According to the top three models, resource use (B=-1.39, p=0.03) and proximity to resource (B=-2.08, p=0.06) were important predictors of trauma risk; greater proximity or use of food resources reduced trauma risk. We conclude that an additional day of weekly produce enrichment that stimulates animal use and proximity to the resource will reduce trauma in socially-housed captive rhesus macaques.