Abstract # 48:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2007 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 7 (South Main Hall) Poster Presentation


Owl Monkeys (Aotus sp.) Utilize Food Directed and Non-food Directed Enrichment Items

L. A. Long1, S. Gibson1, L. Williams2 and C. Abee2
1Center for Neotropical Primate Research and Resources, Department of Comparative Medicine, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36688, USA, 22Department of Veterinary Sciences, Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, Bastrop, TX
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     Nest boxes are the only documented effective enrichment devices for laboratory housed owl monkeys (Aotus spp.). Food directed (FD) and non-food directed (NFD) enrichment items were presented to owl monkeys housed as singles, pairs, or family groups in a breeding colony of 300 monkeys at the Center for Neotropical Primate Research and Resources. FD items included cereal forage placed on the outside cage ledge, cereal pieces strung on manila twine tied inside the cage, and pet bird carousels filled with preferred foods. NFD items included small whiffle balls, paper sacks, folded manila rope pieces hung within the cage, and soft cloth nest boxes. Soft nest boxes were only presented to singly housed monkeys. Use was documented by direct or video observation and technician report. Use of NFD items, when not directly observed, was deduced by scratches and dental marks on whiffle balls, shredding of the paper sack, fraying of rope, and secretion accumulation around the nest box entrance. An item was considered to be effective if it was manipulated and used repeatedly over time. All seven enrichment items met those criteria. The carousels were manipulated up to three days after treats had been removed or eaten. While none of the pair and group-housed monkeys used the paper sacks, six of six singly housed male owl monkeys shredded the sacks. FD and NFD items proved to be effective enrichment for owl monkeys. Support: NIH R24 RR020052.